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Memories in my Blood by reptilia28

Format: Novella
Chapters: 13
Word Count: 38,912
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Strong Violence, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, Horror/Dark, Action/Adventure
Characters: Harry, Hermione, Lupin, Tonks, OC
Pairings: Harry/Hermione, Remus/Tonks

First Published: 10/08/2007
Last Chapter: 08/24/2008
Last Updated: 08/24/2008

Summary:
On the night of his seventeenth birthday, Harry is turned into a vampire on the orders of an unknown power. With Hermione by his side, can Harry find and destroy the Horcruxes and defeat Voldemort while he is beginning to slowly lose his own humanity?


Chapter 1: Chapter 1
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I don't own Harry Potter. I do own any OCs, however, as well as the plot.
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One night, in Number 4 Privet Drive, Harry Potter was laying in his bed, deep in thought. Thinking about the previous year, and how everything had gone to Hell in a hand basket. Over the past few weeks, he had thought about his obsession with Malfoy, his strained friendship with Hermione, his short-lived relationship with Ginny Weasley, Dumbledore’s death and Snape’s betrayal, but right now, his daunting quest to find Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes plagued his mind. Harry had destroyed the first one – Riddle’s diary – in his second year, with few repercussions. But Dumbledore destroyed the Gaunt family ring at the cost of his hand, and when they tried to retrieve Slytherin’s locket, it turned out to be a fake, and Dumbledore was murdered for his troubles. Was that the price Harry would have to pay to destroy Voldemort? To watch helplessly as more friends and loved ones died for his cause?

Harry thought about the other four possible Horcruxes: Slytherin’s locket, Hufflepuff’s cup, something of Ravenclaw’s or Gryffindor’s, and finally, Voldemort’s pet snake, Nagini. Nagini would probably be with Voldemort at all times, so her position was a given, if somewhat difficult to get to, and Slytherin’s locket had been stolen by a mysterious R.A.B. and it, along with the other two Horcruxes, could be anywhere in the world.

As per Dumbledore’s final wishes, Harry elected to stay at Privet Drive until his seventeenth birthday, at which time the blood wards would expire, and Harry would leave the Dursleys forever. Needless to say, it was a moment that Harry eagerly looked forward to.

Harry sighed as he thought about his friends. Ron and Hermione both said that they would be with him until the end, something that Harry wasn’t entirely comfortable with. As soon as they stepped off the Hogwarts Express, Ron was pulled in by Molly Weasley to help prepare for the wedding of her eldest son Bill and Fleur Delacour, and Hermione wanted to spend a little more time with her parents before they went on their quest, something that Harry understood. Unfortunately, due to security reasons, they couldn’t contact each other until they met at the Burrow.

After glancing at his clock, which read 11:43, he decided to go back to sleep. But as he faded into unconsciousness, he couldn’t help but feel that something especially bad was going to happen.

And it would happen soon.

Unknown to Harry and his Order guard, he was being observed by the resident of Number 5 Privet Drive. Hidden by the shadows, he only opened the drapes to the second story window enough to peek out without being seen.

“Eight years. Eight long, boring, bloody years,” the figure sighed, sipping a dark, viscous liquid from a plastic container, enjoying the metallic tingle on his tongue. “Why the hell is this kid so important anyway?” he wondered out loud to himself. “Oh well, orders are orders.” The figure stood in silence for several minutes, rubbing the envelope that had been burning a hole in his pocket since he was assigned this task, before sighing again. “For the love of Merlin, I am bored.”

Several weeks of dull monotony later, it was finally the eve of Harry’s seventeenth birthday, the day he would be considered an adult by the wizarding world. After packing all his worldly possessions and releasing Hedwig to go the Burrow in anticipation for the Order members who would be escorting him later, he walked down to the sitting room, where Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were watching the telly.

“Well, I’ll be leaving soon,” Harry said. This immediately got both of his relatives’ attention. “Tomorrow’s my seventeenth birthday, and someone will probably be taking me in the middle of the night.” Uncle Vernon just turned back towards the telly.

“Good riddance,” he grunted. Not really expecting anything more, Harry just went back to his room and waited on his escort.

Harry’s alarm chirped softly to alert him that it was midnight and he was now officially seventeen. Putting on his cloak, he grabbed his trunk and awaited for the Order to show up, and indeed, five minutes later, the door creaked open to show Mad-Eye Moody, Remus Lupin and Kingsley Shacklebolt.

“Kingsley, professors,” Harry said joyfully.

“For the last time, kid, we’re not your professors. Ready to go, Potter?” Moody growled, his eye whizzing around in its socket. “Got your wand properly stowed?” Harry opened his cloak to show his wand shoved into his belt. Moody grunted dismissively. “Better than last time, kid. Grab your stuff, and we’ll head off.” Grabbing his trunk and his broom, Harry and the three Order members walked out into the street, being careful not to awaken the Dursleys.

The resident of Number 5 Privet Drive had been watching particularly intently, as that night signified the time that he would finally strike. Grabbing a long rifle, he looked through the crack in the drapes to see what he was dealing with.

“Three escorts,” he muttered to himself, peering down the scope and taking aim. “Excellent.”

Outside, Moody was doing one last check before they Disapparated to the Burrow.

“Okay, you’ve got your wand, your trunk, your broomstick,” Moody checked off. “Now, what you need to do is shrink your junk before—” Moody was interrupted by a soft thump on his back. Swaying on his feet, Moody’s real eye rolled in his head as he collapsed, a dart protruding from his shoulder. Before anyone could react, Remus and Shacklebolt were also shot and collapsed.

Harry whipped his wand out, frantically searching for a target. He heard a crack behind him, but before he could react, he felt a hand tug his head to the side and two sharp objects pierce into his neck. He tried to scream, but the hand that tugged his head had wrapped around his mouth, silencing him. Harry’s vision started to blur, and his head felt fuzzy. He felt the two objects retract from his neck and he fell to the ground, his glasses falling off of his face. He saw a dark figure standing over him, and hold out a pale wrist with a deep cut on it to his face. Acting on instinct, Harry reached up and latched his lips onto the gash and began sucking greedily, reveling in the bittersweet, metallic taste. While he drank, he felt a rush of power surge through his body.

Finally, he had drunk his fill, and he dropped his head back onto the pavement. The last thing he felt before fading into unconsciousness was the figure kneeling next to him wiping a wet cloth on his bloody neck.

Jared Simmons was strumming his fingers on his desk. During the day time, the Hilton hotel was bursting with activity, but at night, business was usually rather slow. He shot straight up when he saw a twenty-something man dressed in black walk in carrying an unconscious teenager in his arms and struggling to pull a suitcase.

“Oh my God, is he okay?” Jared exclaimed. The man just nodded dismissively.

“He’s okay, he flew in from out of town and we went partying. Kid sleeps like the dead after all that excitement. He’ll be staying in room 713.” Jared punched the room number into his computer and came back with a name.

“Of course, Mister Darknight. Do you need any help taking your friend to your room?” he asked politely.

“No thanks, I got it covered,” Darknight said. Before Jared could answer, Darknight left for the lift and punched the number to take him to the seventh level.

When Darknight reached the seventh floor of the hotel, he dragged Harry and his trunk to his room, where he set Harry down on a bed and, after checking to make sure the drapes were closed, scribbled something on a piece of parchment and laid it on the table. He pulled an envelope out of his pocket and dropped it on top of the note with a heavy thump. He turned to the still sleeping Harry and sighed.

“I hate to have to do this to you, kid, to make you spend an eternity like this, but I have my orders. I’m sorry,” Darknight whispered before exiting the hotel room, hanging a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the doorknob.

When Darknight reached the hotel lobby, he turned to Jared.

“I just received an urgent business call, and I need to leave. My friend will be staying in my room for the remainder of my bill.”

“Okay, Mister Darknight. Have a pleasant evening,” Jared said. Nodding politely, Darknight strolled out of the lobby and into the night.

The next day, Harry stirred with a groan. He blindly groped for his glasses, but couldn’t find them. He opened his eyes to find that he could now see perfectly. He turned his head to see a ray of sunshine pouring from a crack in the drapes, and an irrational fear gripped Harry’s heart, and he fell out of his bed and crawled into a far corner in an attempt to get away from it.

As he huddled in his corner, terrified, he suddenly remembered a story, even though he didn’t remember it ever being told to him. He remembered a story about a woman who tried to find her lover, only to find heartache. The details were fuzzy at the moment, and he didn’t think too hard about it. He looked up and saw a letter lying on the table. After carefully stepping towards the table, as if the sunlight would jump up and attack him, he lifted the surprisingly heavy envelope to see a hastily scribbled note. Setting the letter aside, he read the note first.

Your friends were tranquilized last night, and are probably looking for you now. It’s probably wise to NOT let them know where you are right now. Suddenly, Harry remembered what happened the night before, and rushed to the bathroom, and gasped at what he saw in the mirror.

He saw himself, but his skin had turned deathly pale, his scar standing out even more prominently. His normally deep green eyes had turned pale green, almost gray. He felt his neck to feel two scars on his neck, and bared his teeth to see that his canines were long and pointed. Panicking, he ran back into the main room and tore open the letter, ignoring the object that fell out as he pulled out and hastily unfolded the letter, which was written in much neater handwriting than the note.

If you’re reading this letter, then you are now a vampire, like myself, and for that I am truly sorry. The only explanation I can give is that I was acting under orders, whose orders you will learn eventually.

The pendant enclosed with this letter will act as an emergency portkey to the nearest vampire clan when activated, and can transport up to three people. However, as it is a one-way portkey, it is highly recommended that you only use it if you have absolutely no other option.

That story that you remember in the back of your head is the story of our founding. More details will emerge within the next few days, so don’t worry about it.

The room you’re in is paid off until August 24, so I suggest you collect your bearings and figure out a plan of action before then. By the way, you’re in the Hilton hotel, so magic is not recommended.

You cannot die from poison, drowning, suffocation, or the Avada Kedavara curse. If injured by normal objects, the wounds will heal quickly. If you’re injured by silver or spells or enchantments, it will heal as if you were human. Get fatally hit in the heart or head, and you’re screwed. That was probably a given, but it never hurts to let you know.

Finally, you must know the laws of the vampires. A few have been laid down by our kind, but most have been determined by our very existence.

Firstly, you must drink blood at least once every two weeks. Human, animal, it does not matter. The longer you wait the more hungry you become, until you become little more than a wild animal. Then, very few things other than the sun’s rays can stop your rampage as you slake your thirst for blood. Animal blood is less nutritious than human blood, but with feasting on humans comes certain…repercussions. I’ll let you figure them out on your own.

Secondly, stay out of the sunlight. I think this is fairly self-explanatory.

Thirdly, do not kill another vampire unless you have to. A vampire killing other vampires is not kindly looked upon, so don’t do it unless it’s your hide or his.

Fourthly, do not feed from or turn a child. This will get you in serious trouble with the higher-ups, so just don’t do it.

Finally, be careful. It’s a harsh world out there for a vampire, so you need to do whatever it takes to survive.

I am not asking for your forgiveness, as I will probably not receive it, but this is a little primer for the things to come. And be warned, it is not the act of becoming a vampire that rids you of your humanity, but of what happens afterwards.

Darknight.

Harry stared at the letter, shocked to the core. He was a vampire now, cursed to walk the earth forever. He’d never see his parents, Sirius or Dumbledore again; he would have to watch as all his friends fade away while he remained. Setting the letter down, he picked up the pendant and looked at it. It was a silver image of a bat with a single ruby eye, swinging from a silver chain. Harry sighed in defeat. He was already a vampire, what else did he have to lose by putting on a little necklace, he thought as he hung the pendant around his neck. It ended in the middle of his chest, level to where his heart was. He walked back into the bathroom and looked at himself again, and thought that when he got past the fact that he wasn’t alive anymore, he didn’t really look all that different…except he probably shouldn’t smile in public anymore. Harry sighed again. Well, he was stuck in a hotel room for the day, and he had no idea where to go, or even where he was. He found a notepad and a pen and decided to start constructing a bare semblance of a plan with one thought on his mind.

Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Once-Lived, was having a bad day.

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Well, I hope you enjoyed the first chapter.

The questions of who Darknight was receiving orders from, the full details of the vampire’s history and just what happens when a vampire feeds off a human will be answered in upcoming chapters.

Chapter 2: Chapter 2
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In three days, I fly off to the East Coast. Oh joy.

I own any OC's that pop up. The rest belongs to Rowling.
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While Harry slept off his vampirism in a hotel room in the city, Remus slowly stirred from his stupor, laying groggily on the darkened street of Privet Drive. Groaning, he reached up and pulled the dart out of his chest, rubbing the puncture wound gingerly. After extracting the darts from Moody and Shacklebolt, he revived the younger auror.

“Ohh, my head,” the dark man groaned, clutching his temple. “What happened?” Lifting Shacklebolt to his feet, Remus held up one of the darts.

“We were shot with these,” he said. “Lily told me about these once. They’re called tranquilizers, they’re needles filled with some sort of potion that makes you sleepy. Muggles use it to keep large animals docile during transportation.” As if realizing something, Remus looked around frantically. “Where’s Harry?” He lit his wand and searched the area, panicking. A few feet away, he saw blood splattered on the ground, with Harry’s broken glasses lying in it, and it took all his willpower not to break down and sob right then.

Stupefy!” a voice shouted behind him, and Remus ducked just in time to dodge a stunning spell that flew harmlessly into a bush. Apparently, Shacklebolt had decided to revive Moody.

“Where are those bloody cowards?” Moody growled angrily, his eye spinning madly. “Stunning a man from behind; ain’t got not class at all.”

“We weren’t stunned, Moody, we were shot with Muggle darts,” Shacklebolt explained.

“You were shot?!” Moody spat, outraged. “What have I told you about—” Moody began to rant, but was surprisingly interrupted by Remus.

“We were all down within ten seconds, and need I remind you that you were the one who was shot first, Mister Constant Vigilance?” the werewolf snarled. “Besides, we have bigger questions, such as who did this and where’s Harry?” Moody tapped his chin in thought as he considered the incident.

“I was shot from behind, and we were facing the Dursleys’ place, so it must have been there,” he said, pointing at Number 5 Privet Drive. They walked over and unlocked the door before letting themselves in.

“Shacklebolt, you go upstairs; Lupin and I’ll sweep down here.” Nodding, Shacklebolt walked up the stairs, wand drawn. Moody and Remus searched the bottom floor of the house, and found nothing. No photos, no furniture, no evidence at all that it had been occupied.

“Guys, I found something!” Shacklebolt shouted from upstairs. After Moody clumped his way up the stairs, they followed Shacklebolt’s voice to find him standing in a small bedroom, about the size of Harry’s. In it were a small refrigerator and a mattress on the floor.

“Take a look at the view,” Shacklebolt said. Remus and Moody looked out the window to see a perfect view of where they were standing earlier. “And I also found this,” Shacklebolt added, holding up a rifle. He opened it so show a dart that was loaded and ready to be chambered. “Someone was expecting us. No Death Eater would dare use a Muggle weapon to take us out, and certainly not with less than lethal force. I think we’re dealing with someone else entirely. The question is, who?”

“Did you find anything in there?” Remus asked, pointing towards the fridge. Shacklebolt shook his head.

“Not so much as a biscuit crumb. It’s like someone bought it and then never used it.” Remus bit his lip nervously while Moody scowled.

“This guy’s good,” he said darkly. “Waits until our backs are turned, doesn’t use magic, then leaves only just enough to show his existence. The cowardly bastard probably just left these here to taunt us.” His magical eye did another once-over, and found nothing. “We should tell McGonnagal about this,” he said before spinning around and disappearing with a crack. Sullen-faced, the other two men Apparated to Diagon Alley and flooed back to Hogwarts.

Minerva McGonnagal was pacing around her office nervously. The three Order members that she sent to retrieve Harry was late by almost an hour. Most of the paintings of past Headmasters were sleeping, but a few were watching her pace in boredom, or in once case, amusement.

“Where can they be?” McGonnagal muttered to herself. She considered herself a well-composed woman, but as each second passed, her composure wore down a little more.

“Relax, Minerva,” the portrait of the late Albus Dumbledore said, amused. “I’m sure that they’re just at the Burrow being force-fed Molly’s cooking. You know how she is.”

“Yes, but I can’t help but worry.” Suddenly, the floo flared up and three men stumbled out of the fireplace.

“Where have you been?” she practically shrieked, her face turning red with anger. “You three are late by almost an hour! Remus I can understand, but you two--!”

“Harry’s missing,” Remus interrupted, and her face immediately went from light pink to pale white.

“What?” she gasped.

“We should assemble the Order, Minerva,” Moody said. “This is something that they all need to hear.” Nodding, McGonnagal went to her desk and tapped a crystal with her wand, signalling all the Order members for a meeting.

Ten long, tense minutes later, the Order had been assembled, some of whom were not happy about being dragged out of bed at this hour.

“I apologize for bringing you here so early, but we have a matter of utmost urgency. Remus, if you will?” Remus stood up and cleared his throat, tears welling up in his eyes.

“At approximately five minutes after midnight, we arrived at Number 4 Privet Drive to escort Harry to the Burrow. When we got there, Harry was packed and waiting for us. When we went outside and did one final check to make sure he had everything, we were knocked out with Muggle sedatives. When we came to, Harry was missing, and all we found were some bloodstains on the street, and…these.” He lifted up the broken, bloody glasses, and Molly sobbed loudly into her husband’s shoulder. Several minutes later, after the wailing had drifted into faint sniffling, Remus continued. “We determined that the darts that were used to inject the sedatives had come from the house opposite of the Dursleys, so we entered and searched for evidence of its occupants. The only evidence that it had been occupied at all were a matress, a small empty icebox and a Muggle firearm in the smallest bedroom on the second story, which has a perfect view of the street, and consequentially us. When we examined the firearm, we saw that at least one more dart was inside, implying that whoever took Harry had probably been waiting for some time, probably for when the blood wards fell, and was expecting at least four people to escort him. As of right now, we don’t know who took him or why, but we can probably exclude Voldemort’s—” most of the room gasped at the name. Remus rolled his eyes before continuing, “…Voldemort’s involvement, as we were taken out by a non-lethal Muggle weapon, two things that Death Eaters wouldn’t be caught dead doing.” Whispers and murmurs immediately echoed throughout the room as they soaked in this dark revelation. Molly had broken down so much that Arthur had to take her out of the room.

“Harry’s gone,” Molly sobbed. “He could be anywhere, having anything inflicted to him, and we have no idea where he is.” Sniffling, she wiped away her tears. “We need to tell the children.” Arthur nodded his head quietly.

“They need their sleep, we’ll tell them tomorrow morning.” Nodding, the two found the nearest floo grate and flooed back to their home for a sleepless night. When they looked at the enchanted grandfather clock in their sitting room, Molly’s tears ran anew. The hand that held Harry name and photo was set firmly on Mortal Peril.

The next morning, seventeen-year-old Hermione Granger stirred softly. She looked to the other bed in her room to see her roommate, Ginny Weasley, spread over her bed, snoring softly. After wiping the sleep from her eyes and tying her unusually bush morning hair into a long ponytail, she walked down to the kitchen to see an odd sight.

Molly Weasley washing dishes by hand.

“Mrs. Weasley? Are you alright?” Hermione asked softly, and softly gasped when she saw Molly’s red and puffy eyes.

“I’m alright dear,” she said with fake joy, but soon abandoned the charade. “Actually, no, I’m not. Something’s happened, and you children need to hear it. Why don’t you wake Ron and Ginny up while I make breakfast? Merlin knows that the food will be cold if you try to wake those two up after the food’s been made.” Hermione frowned when Molly neglected to mention Harry.

“What about Harry?” Instead of answering, Molly just toiled tirelessly at the cooktop, the melachony look never leaving her face.Worried at what could drive Molly to such a state, Hermione ran back up the stairs to wake up the Weasley children.

“Ginny, wake up,” she said, shaking her friend’s shoulder. Ginny just mumbled incoherently and shifted position on her bed. Hermione just shook Ginny more vigorously until the younger girl knocked her hand away.

“Alright, alright, I’m up,” she grumbled. “What the hell did you need to do that for?”

“Your mother has something to tell us,” Hermione said. “And it has to be something big, because I’ve never seen her act as upset as she is.” Before Ginny could inquire further, Hermione left the room for the daunting task of waking her brother up.

When Hermione entered Ron’s room, she saw that while Ron was splayed out his bed, snoring loudly, Harry wasn’t in his bed. Indeed, it looked like had had never been slept in. She shook Ron’s shoulder, but he just snorted loudly.

“Five more minutes, mummy,” he muttered before falling back to sleep.

“Wake up, Ronald, your mother has something to tell us,” Hermione said, which was promptly ignored by the redheaded boy. Then she was hit with a stroke of genius, and leaned into his ear.

“Ron, there are spiders crawling all over your bed.” She plugged her ears and stood back as Ron suddenly jumped out of his bed in a decidedly girlish shriek of fright.

“Bloody hell, Hermione!” he gasped, clutching his chest. “You could give a bloke a heart attack! What did you do that for?” Hermione looked at him, all amusement gone from her face.

“Your mother has something she needs to tell us, and from the looks of things, it’s not good. Now get dressed,” she said before leaving the room. Ron just shook his head in confusion.

“Bloody mental,” he muttered before gathering his clothes to change.

When the two Weasley children went down to the table, the rest of the Burrow’s occupants were already seated: Hermione, the rest of the Weasleys, sans Percy, Fleur Delacour and her sister and parents. Right now, Molly was piling obscenely large portions of eggs and bacon onto everybody’s plates, ignoring everyone’s protests that it was too much. He also noticed that the older Weasley siblings seemed to have the same sad, melachony look as their parents.

“What’s going on, Mum?” Ron asked. Molly just shook her head.

“Eat up first, dearies, then we’ll tell you,” she said in a tone that left no room for argument, so Ron and Ginny just sat down and dug in.

After everybody had eaten their fill (the portions were so large that, surprisingly, even Ron could not help but deny a second helping), Molly and Arthur stood up.

“Everyone, we have something to say,” Molly said, and everyone immediately fell silent. “Last night…last…Ha…I can’t say it, Arthur,” she gasped as she sobbed into her husband’s shoulder. Now everyone was really worried. If whatever news they had could break a woman as strong as Molly Weasley, then it must be bad. After patting his wife’s back comfortingly, Arthur took the initiative.

“Last night, Remus, Moody and Shacklebolt went to pick up Harry and escort him here. But when they got there, someone knocked them out and kidnapped Harry.” Several shocked gasps echoed throughtout the room, and Hermione couldn’t help the tears from falling down her face. “The only thing they could find of Harry’s was his glasses, which was lying in some blood.” Arthur had to pause a moment to regain his composure. “We don’t know who took him, or why. All we know is that whoever it is, he or she probably isn’t involved with…You-Know-Who, since they used a Muggle weapon to sedate Harry’s escorts.” Whatever else Arthur had to say fell on deaf ears as Hermione stood up from the table and ran out of the room.

As soon as she was far enough away from the rest of the Weasleys and Delacours, she let the tears fall freely. For weeks now, she wanted to apologize to Harry for acting the way she did the year before, as well as to sort out her own convulted feelings for the raven-haired boy, but now there was very likely that she would never get that opportunity.

“I’m sorry, Harry,” she whispered into thin air, and opening the first door she found, she went inside and did something she hadn’t done since her first year at Hogwarts.

She locked herself into a bathroom and cried.

Meanwhile, in the Hilton hotel, Harry looked up at his “to-do list”, which he had spent an hour working on.

Figure out how to break news of being a vampire to friends.

Figure out how to get into Professor McGonnagal’s office to talk to Dumbledore.

Find Horcruxes.

Destroy Horcruxes.

Kill Voldemort.

Figure out who ordered my turning.

Well, it’s simple, but it works, Harry thought. Harry felt his stomach rumble, and walked to the mini bar out of instinct. There, he saw a hotel keycard taped to the door. Peeling it off, he opened the door to see that instead of candy bars and small drinks, was about a dozen round plastic containers full of blood. Taking one labeled “pig’s blood,” Harry grimaced at the thought of drinking blood, but realizing he had no other choice, pulled the lid off and started drinking, grimacing at the sickeningly sweet, but slightly metallic flavor. After he had drunk about a third of it, he licked his lips clean and put the container back in the icebox.

Having nothing better to do, Harry opened his trunk and saw his shrunken Firebolt on top. Taking it out, he dug around for a book and flopped onto the bed and started reading.

After reading and flipping through the television and just generally acting bored, Harry fell asleep, and when he woke, it was 1:32 in the morning. Next to the clock, he noticed a notepad from the hotel that had the address on it.

He was in London.

Grinning, he grabbed his key and stuffing his invisibility cloak in his pocket, he walked out of the hotel and into an abandoned alley. Wrapping himself in his invisibility cloak, he concentrated on the alleyway where the Leaky Cauldron was at, and spun around, Apparating with a crack.

When he appeared in front of the wizard pub, he walked inside, being careful to make as little noise as possible. After no one showed up, he went to the floo grate and grabbed a handful of floo powder. Bracing himself for the inevitable tumble, he said, “Hogwarts Headmistress’s office,” before disappearing in a burst of green flames.

As expected, Harry did tumble out of the fireplace, but thankfully didn’t crash into anything. He looked around and saw that, even in a very dark room, he could see perfectly.

After casting locking charms on all the doors, he illuminated his wand and shone the light at Dumbledore’s portrait, awakening him.

“My boy, if you are going to shine a light, at least be a little more careful about where you point it,” Dumbledore admonished gently.

“I’m sorry, Professor, but I needed you to be awake,” Harry said, deepening his voice. “If it’s possible, could you ask the other portraits to give us some privacy?” Dumbledore thought about it for a moment, before addressing the other portraits.

“This seems to be a highly personal matter, could you be so kind as to allow us a few moments of privacy?” With varying degrees of complaint, the other portaits vacated their frames, leaving Dumbledore and Harry alone. “Is that better? Now, to light the room, just say lumos without holding your wand.” Extinquishing his wand, Harry illuminated the room, and Dumbledore gasped in shock at Harry’s pale complexion. “Merlin’s beard, Harry, what happened to you?” Harry thought of a suitable answer, and decided to use the first one he thought of.

“I died, professor.”
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Don't forget to read and review!

Chapter 3: Chapter 3
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Hey there, everybody! I hope you had a merry Christmas and happy new year!

As usual, I don't own Harry Potter.
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Dumbledore gaped at Harry, shocked by his answer. If he were still alive, he might have fainted, but since he was just a painting, he had to settle to sit there slack-jawed.

“What do you mean, you died, Harry?” he finally gasped.

“A few minutes after midnight this morning, I was attacked by a vampire in the street right in front of the Dursleys’ house,” Harry replied emotionlessly.

“But what about the Order members?” Dumbledore asked.

“They were neutralized with Muggle tranquilizers,” Harry responded. “They never saw it coming.” Dumbledore rubbed his temple tiredly. This was not how he had hoped things would turn out. He had hoped that Harry would find the Horcruxes with his friends, defeat Voldemort, and live as normal a life as a person of his celebrity could. But now he was a vampire, a dark creature feared and hated by the world.

“Can I inquire as to why you’re here?” Dumbledore asked.

“I need help,” Harry said. “I need to research about the Horcruxes, and what and where they might be. The logical place to start would be Grimmauld, but with Snape on the loose, that location is compromised. What I need to know is, is it possible to reset the Fidelius with a new secret keeper?” Dumbledore closed in eyes as he thought of an answer. Being a painting made things fuzzy, but he eventually figured something out.

“Forgive me Harry, but as I am but a painting, I do not possess the clarity of mind that my living self had, but I believe that upon the death of the secret keeper, the secret is automatically transferred to the current owner of the property, in this case yourself. With that in mind, if you use someone who already knows the address, you can override the current Fidelius with a new one. Does that answer your question?”

“For now,” Harry said, nodding. But Dumbledore noticed that he still had a gloomy look on his face.

“Is something else troubling you, Harry?” Dumbledore asked. Harry shook his head to clear his thoughts.

“I just thought of something,” Harry admitted. “I will probably need Hermione’s help, if nothing else, but…I’m a vampire now, what is there to stop me from feeding off of them? They’ll practically have the words ‘Eat Me’ tatooed on their foreheads.” Dumbledore sighed, and could not help but feel pity for Harry’s predicament.

“I cannot give you a definite answer, Harry, but I believe that as long as you keep yourself fed through other means, your love for your friends will prevent you from feeding off of them.” While Harry mulled on this thought, Dumbledore had an idea.

“If you could be so kind as to humor an old man, may I make a couple of suggestions?” Harry nodded, but did not say anything. “First off, I highly doubt that it would be convenient for you to break into my, or shall I say, Professor McGonnagal’s office every time you wish to speak with me, so if you could be so kind as to open that drawer there,” Dumbledore said, pointing at a set of drawers where the pensieve stood. Harry opened the top drawer and saw Dumbledore walk into a picture frame. “This will make communicating with me much easier,” he said from the photo. “Now, for my second request, please Apparate somewhere out of sight.” Harry cocked his eyebrow at the photo.

“I thought it was impossible to Apparate to and from Hogwarts?” Harry asked. Dumbledore shrugged.

“If it doesn’t work, forget I ever asked. Please, Harry?” Sighing, Harry focused on the tunnel that led from the Whomping Willow to the Shrieking Shack, and disappeared with a crack.

Harry opened his eyes to find himself in a stone tunnel.

“It’s just as I thought,” he heard Dumbledore mutter to himself. Harry looked down at the photo in his hand.

“What do you mean?” he asked. “Why was I able to pass the wards?” Cracking his fingers, Dumbledore dove into his explanation.

“The way that anti-apparation wards work is that it detects a certain magical signature performing a certain magical act, and either blocks or lets it pass accordingly. As you know from experience, the wards at Hogwarts prevent humans from Apparating onto its grounds, but it will let house elves in without a fuss. I believe that your…” Dumbledore considered his next word carefully, “condition has altered your signature enough so that the wards no longer recognize you as human, and as such will let you through. It is not the most logical reasoning, but I cannot help but admit that wizards never were the most logical folk.” Harry could not help but shrug in agreement. “I believe that you can use this to your advantage, as now you are immune to all anti-entry wards except the Fidelius and those specifically keyed to ward off the undead.” Harry’s eyes widened as he realized that he could break through almost any ward erected by man without a problem.

“If I may make one final request, Harry,” Dumbledore said, interrupting Harry’s thoughts, “can I tell Minerva about you? I imagine that you would like to keep your location and condition secret, but can I at least tell her that you are well, if only to ease the Order’s worries?” Harry nodded, then realized something.

“I guess I should go back and unlock the doors,” Harry said, mostly to himself, but Dumbledore heard him.

“Don’t worry, Harry, all the doors in the Headmaster’s office is keyed to remove any locking charms after ten minutes, just in case they happen to lock themselves out without their wand. Rest assured, Minerva will not be locked in her room come morning. Now, I believe that you must be staying somewhere,” he said. Harry stuck the photo in his pocket and Apparated back to the alley where he left from earlier and walked back to the hotel. When he entered his room, he placed Dumbledore’s photo on the table.

“Ah, you seem to be staying at the Hilton. I stayed here for a few days during my sabbatical during your fifth year. A wee bit expensive, but I believe that the service was well worth it.” As Harry grabbed a book and started reading, Dumbledore suddenly thought of something worrying.

“Harry, what will you do if you ever run into Severus?” he asked, worried as to what his answer would be.

“Well, professor—” Harry began, not looking up from his book, but was interrupted by Dumbledore.

“Please, Harry, you are an adult and I am dead, call me Albus,” he insisted. Harry looked up from his book, his face an emotionless mask.

“Okay, Albus, what will I do if I ever see Snape again? That depends on whether he cooperates or not,” Harry said darkly.

“Harry, please, whatever your differences, you need to trust Severus,” Albus pleaded. Even in undeath, Harry couldn’t let go of his grudge against Snape.

“And why should I?” Harry snapped.

“Because I trust him,” Albus said, but had a feeling that that excuse wouldn’t work anymore.

“I’m sorry, Albus, but that won’t fly anymore. I’ve been willing to let it slide before, but you refused to listen to me last year, and he ended up killing you, so unless you can give me a valid reason to trust Snape, I’m sorry, but your word just isn’t good enough for me this time.” Harry went back to his book, and no more words were spoken between the two that night.

The next day, McGonnagal woke up and prepared for a new day. After showering and putting on her robes, she walked into her office to sort through various papers that she had to look at as Headmistress, when Albus’ portrait cleared his throat.

“Good morning, Minerva,” he said. “I’m afraid I have bittersweet news concerning Harry.” Her paperwork forgotten, McGonnagal rushed over to the portrait surprisingly quickly for a woman her age.

“What do you mean? Is he alright?” she gasped.

“Harry is…well,” Albus said hesitantly. “He is currently recovering from his ordeal and has asked me not to disclose his wherabouts. He wants his privacy, so if anyone wishes to find him, then they must look for him.” Minerva frowned at this news. “Do not worry, he is safe from the Death Eaters, for now. I’m afraid that is all I can give you.” McGonnagal scowled at Albus’ evasiveness and went grabbed a handful of floo powder to call the rest of the Order.

That afternoon, Harry was reading a potions book when he heard a tapping on his sliding glass door. After carefully opening the door through the curtain so he wouldn’t be burned by the sunlight, a familiar white owl swooped in.

“Hedwig!” Harry cried, closing the door. The owl took one look at Harry and, sensing something was wrong, started backing away from Harry, even though the letter tied to her leg made movement difficult. “Hedwig, it’s me, Harry,” he pleaded, holding his hand out. “It’s me, Harry,” he said, softer. Hedwig stopped backing away, and Harry carefully removed the letter from her leg. He dug through his trunk for an owl treat, which she nibbled on while he read the letter, recognizing Hermione’s handwriting.

Harry, where the hell are you?! Everyone is worried sick trying to find you! Harry saw that the next part was more elegant than the first, as if Hermione stopped to fume before finishing her letter. I’m sorry, Harry, but we’ve been up all night trying to find you. Dumbledore spoke to Professor McGonnagal this morning, and all he would say was that you were well. I’m worried about you, Harry. I’m worried about your safety.

Please come back, wherever you are, Harry. We need you. I need you. I need to talk to you about things…things that I need to say to your face.

Love,

Hermione.

Harry sighed. It hurt him to hurt his friends like that, but he needed to break into his new identity alone. Grabbing a pen and a notepad, he scribbled a note to Hermione.

I have something to tell you too, Hermione. Come to Sirius’ place, nine ‘o clock tonight. Please come alone, I can’t deal with too many people right now. When I’m done, I can only hope that you will still be my friend.

Harry.

Putting the note in the envelope that Hermione sent her letter in, he carefully opened the sliding door, and Hedwig swooped away. Harry groaned as he rubbed his head. The memory of the vampire genesis was getting clearer now, and the unfamiliar memory was giving him a headache.

Grabbing a plastic bag from the bathroom and putting all the containers of blood into it, he grabbed his possessions and Apparated to 12 Grimmauld Place.

Upon appearing in the dark and dusty house, Harry placed the blood into the pantry, where it would be preserved by the cooling charms inside. Harry went into the sitting room and looked at the windows. Years of grit and grime had dulled the sunlight, but it still shone through enough to be a danger, so Harry decided to fix that.

“Kreacher!” Harry yelled. Immediately, the short, pig-nosed house elf popped before him, grumbling.

“Filthy half-blood commanding Kreacher, oh what Kreacher’s poor mistress would think if she knew that the great and noble house of Black was being sullied by such filth,” he grumbled just loud enough for Harry to hear.

“Spare me your whining, Kreacher, I have a job for you,” Harry snarled, his teeth bared. With a gasp of fear, Kreacher began backing away.

“Master is a vampire, what shall Kreacher do?” the house elf whimpered.

“What Kreacher shall do is cover every window in this house with dark curtains, make sure that no sunlight can get in. Then, you are to return to your duties at Hogwarts. Once there, you are not to communicate to anyone, be it through word or letter or gesture or anything. Is that clear?” Thinking hard to find any loophole, and finding none, Kreacher grudgingly nodded and began covering the windows. Harry grabbed a container of blood and went into the library. Looking up at the massive shelves of books, Harry sighed to himself. It was going to be a long day.

A couple of hours later, Harry was tired of reading, so he stood up and took a walk. He walked around the upper floors, pausing at the room where Sirius slept. When he passed the kitchen, he had an idea when he saw all the knives lying in the drawers. Grabbing two knives, he walked out into the front hall and threw the curtains open, revealing Mrs. Black.

“YOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!” she shrieked, her eyes bulging out of their sockets.

“Yes, me,” Harry deadpanned.

“YOU DO NOT BELONG IN MY HOUSE, YOU FILTH!!! KREACHER! KREA—ack!” she gasped as Harry slammed a knife into the canvas where her midsection was, pinning her to her position.

“I am sick and tired of your screaming, you hag,” Harry growled. “So tonight, I’m going to get rid of you.”

“RELEASE ME, MUDBLOOD FILTH!!” Mrs. Black shrieked. In response, Harry made a bestial hiss, baring his fangs and silencing the portait. “You…you’re a vampire.” Suddenly, her demeanor changed, and she adopted an evil grin. “Well then, you are always welcome in my home.” Grabbing the other knife in a stabbing position, Harry walked up to the portrait.

“It’s my house now,” he spat before cutting around Mrs. Black’s figure, the ripping of canvas drowned out by her screams. After he had cut all the way around, he pulled out the first knife and rolled the canvas up. Lighting a fire, he threw the portait in and watched as the portait burst into flames. When the last of the canvas withered away and the screams stopped, Harry extinguished the flames.

“Finally, some peace and quite around here.”

At nine ‘o clock that night, Hermione Apparated in front of Grimmauld Place, and shuddered at the gloom that it emanated. Rapping the snake-shaped knocker, she waited for a response.

“What happened in the girls’ bathroom our second year?” Harry’s voice asked from behind the door. Relieved that Harry was there, but embarrased by the question, she answered as softly as she could.

“I turned into a half-cat because I drank a faulty Polyjuice potion. Why does Voldemort want you dead?” She hated to have to ask that, but it was necessary.

“Because of a prophecy that says that one of us must die at the hands of the other,” Harry responded before opening the door. As soon as she stepped in, Hermione tackled Hary into a bear hug that normally would have knocked the breath out of him, if he had any breath. It took a moment for him to realize that she was crying.

“I was so scared, Harry,” she sobbed into his shoulder. “I was scared that something had happened to you, that I would never see you again. I couldn’t sleep, I could barely eat, I just couldn’t help but think about you.” Harry just rubbed her back soothingly and carefully led her to the sofa, where they sat down. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.

“For what?” Harry asked, confused.

“I’m sorry for last year. I’m sorry for pestering you about the book, for not believing you about Snape and Malfoy, and for just not being there for you,” she sniffled. Harry held her close, and she couldn’t help but notice that he felt cool.

“I’m sorry too,” he said. “I’m sorry for not listening to you about the Prince, for using that spell when I shouldn’t have, and for being a general prat.”

“I guess we both had a bad year,” Hermione chuckled, but quickly stopped. “When your note said that you hoped that I would still be your friend. What did you mean by that?” Harry’s look immediately darkened.

“That night I disappeared?” he asked. Hermione nodded into his shoulder. “Well, these past couple of days, I’ve been hiding away at the Hilton.” Hermione snorted in amusement.

“The Hilton? That’s your big secret? You’ve been hiding away in a hotel? Why would that make me hate you?” she asked. Harry didn’t smile.

“Because that night, I became a vampire,” he said, pulling down his collar to show the twin scars on his neck. Hermione gasped in shock, and Harry stood up to walk away.

“Harry, wait,” she said, grabbing his hand, and gasped when his hand felt cold. She stood up and wrapped Harry in a gentle hug. “You’re my best friend, Harry, my first friend. And you’re still Harry, nothing can change that, and nothing could make me hate you,” she whispered into his ear. Harry started tearing up himself.

“Now you know why I don’t want the Order to find me,” Harry said.

“Harry, where are you going to go now? It’s not safe here anymore,” Hermione said worriedly.

“I found a book with the Fidelius charm in it, it’s on the table in the library. Albus said that if I used someone who already knew the secret, I could reset the Fidelius. I was thinking tomorrow or something, we could renew it.” Hermione looked at Harry, confused.

“How did you talk with Professor Dumbledore?” she asked. Harry adopted a guilty look.

“You see, I kind of, sort of…broke into Professor McGonnagal’s office,” he whispered.

“You what?!” she shouted, scandalized.

“It was necessary!” Harry justified. “Besides, I have a photo of him, so I won’t have to do it again.” At this, Hermione’s temper deflated. “Come on, I’ll take you to your room.” After leading Hermione to her room, he turned to face her. “Thanks for coming tonight. ‘Night,” he said, hesitating for a moment before kissing her cheek before entering his room. As he closed his door, Hermione held a hand up to her cheek where his cold lips had touched it.
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Chapter 4: Chapter 4
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I’m too brain-dead to think of some witty comment. Move along.

I don’t own Harry Potter. I just own the plot and whatever unusual quirks that vampires have.

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Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Hermione stirred in her sleep. Groaning as she cracked one eye open, she heard a faint rhythmic thumping from the story above her, like someone stomping their feet around the house.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

After putting on a pair of sweat pants and vainly trying to tame her wild hair, she walked upstairs to figure out what was making the sound. She followed the thumping as it got louder, and she could feel the floor vibrating beneath her feet. She reached a door where the sound was loudest, and it sounded less like a thump and more like a muffled boom. She hesitantly twisted the doorknob and cracked the door open.

Inside, she saw Harry casually send a twisting jab at a training dummy, and with a loud bang, it was thrown back and shattered. An equally casual right-handed upward swish later, and the mannequin had repaired itself, only to be obliterated again seconds later. The amazing thing was, Harry was doing it all silently. Harry seemed to notice her presence, as he repaired the training dummy one last time before setting his wand down.

“You can come in, you know,” he said casually as he sat down on a chair in the corner of the room. Hermione walked into the room and silently sat down in the chair next to him.

“When could you do nonverbal magic so well, Harry?” she asked, knowing full well how Harry had struggled with the subject the year before. Harry just shrugged in confusion.

“I don’t know; I was reading something and I got hungry, so I summoned myself a drink. A couple of minutes later, I realized I didn’t say anything, so I tried to levitate a book without speaking, and it worked. So I spent the past couple of hours practicing my nonverbal magic, and it all seems…different.” Hermione furrowed her brow in confusion.

“What do you mean by ‘different?’” she asked. Again, Harry shrugged.

“I don’t know. It’s like last year, my mind was completely jumbled, and I just couldn’t do much of anything, but now, everything seems so clear that I feel like such an idiot for not figuring it out sooner.” Hermione seemed lost in thought for a moment before grabbing Harry’s wand and handing it to him.

“Can you show me more?” she asked. Harry just waved his wand to make a chair on the other side of the room, and flicked his wand towards him to slowly make the chair drift over until it was in front of them, where it gently dropped to the floor and Harry propped his feet on it, grinning smugly. Hermione just stuck her tongue out childishly at him, and they both laughed until Hermione’s stomach interrupted them with hungry rumbling.

“I guess we should go make breakfast,” Harry chuckled. Hermione chuckled sheepishly as they walked downstairs into the kitchen. Harry grabbed eggs, tomatoes and green onions while Hermione put a pan on the stove and pulled out a knife. While Harry cracked the eggs, Hermione was chopping the vegetables.

“Ouch! Damn it!” Harry heard Hermione gasp, and he spun around to see her clutching her thumb, and a drop of blood on the knife she was using. “Just give me a second, Merlin that hurts.” Still clutching her thumb, she ran over to the sink and ran it under water, sighing in relief. “Harry, could you wash the knife for me please?”

“Okay,” Harry said, picking up the knife. He looked at the droplet of blood on the blade, and a wave of hunger coursed through him. He looked up and saw that Hermione was still tending to her wounded digit. She’s not looking, what harm could it do, he though as he wiped the blood off the blade and sucked it off of his finger. Harry walked over to the sink and started wiping the blade in soapy water when he was struck by a memory.

He was sitting in a man’s lap, and was very young, no older than four or five. The man had curly brown hair and blue eyes, and was reading a book to him.

This is my favorite story, Daddy,” Harry said, but his voice was very high pitched, even for a little child.

That’s good, sweetheart,” “Daddy” said, kissing Harry on the top of the head.

I love you, Daddy.”

I love you too, Hermione.”

Suddenly, Harry snapped back into reality, a rag in one hand, a half-cleaned knife in the other. He turned his head to see that Hermione had found the first-aid kit and was currently taping a piece of gauze to her thumb. Shaking his head, Harry cleaned and rinsed the knife before returning to the kitchen counter.

“Maybe I should keep a hold of this knife, missy,” Harry said teasingly. “You might hurt yourself again.” Hermione snorted as she grabbed a fork and began beating the eggs. Five minutes later, Hermione was eating an omelet with toast while Harry sat out of her field of vision, sipping a container of pig’s blood, pondering what happened earlier. How had he gotten one of Hermione’s memories? Was it from drinking her blood? Harry shook his head; this was something he could ponder later.

After breakfast, Hermione went to the library to study up on the Fidelius charm, while Harry went to the training room to practice some more nonverbal magic. Two hours later, Hermione knocked on the door, and Harry ceased his assault by water jet on the poor battered training dummy.

“I know how to do it, but because of our situation, you need to learn it too,” she said, holding the relevant book. “How it’s done is the caster asks the secret keeper if he’ll protect the location of whatever they’re trying to hide, but in this case, since you’re the secret keeper, only you can say the address in full, which is what’s required, which means that you have to do the ritual.” Harry sighed.

“I didn’t see that part when I found it, but okay,” he said as he opened the book and started reading the relevant passages. A few hours and wand movement perfections later, and they were ready to begin. They sat in the sitting room with a gold plate and knife lay on a table with three white candles lit around it.

Hermione picked up the knife and pricked her finger with it and dropped one, two, three drops of blood onto the plate, and it took all that Harry had not to grab the piece of metal and lick the blood clean off. With a hint of lamentation, Harry waved his wand and watched as the three drops caught fire.

“Do you, Hermione Jane Granger, so vow to hold the location of 12 Grimmauld Place within you until your dying breath?” he asked, as rehearsed.

“I do,” Hermione said mechanically.

“Do you so vow to withhold the secret from those who would wish harm, and share it only to those of utmost confidence?” Harry recited.

“I do.” Harry gulped at the next question.

“Do you so vow to protect those who would dwell within your secret, even under pain of death?”

“I do.”

“So mote it be.” Waving his wand to make a lazy infinity sign in the air, Harry began to chant the final portion of the charm. “Reus ut specialis, reus ut fides. Reus ut specialis, reus ut fides. Reus ut specialis, reus ut fides.” The air hummed as an unearthly wind blew Hermione’s hair around as she glew faintly golden. After several seconds, the wind snuffed out the flames and disappeared, and Hermione’s glow faded away. Suddenly, Harry looked around in confusion.

“Where are we, Hermione?” he asked, confused. He knew that he came here yesterday, but he couldn’t remember the address for the life of him. Strangely, Hermione just grinned at him.

“Excellent, it worked then.” Then she leaned over to him and whispered softly into his ear. “You can find sanctuary at 12 Grimmauld Place.” A feeling of revelation coursed through Harry and he realized that the Fidelius charm was renewed.

A few hours later, Harry was reading a book in the Black library when he noticed that Hermione had left her seat at the table. Setting his book down, he looked around the house, and he eventually found her looking through his clothes.

“I haven’t been stealing your knickers, if that’s what you’re looking for,” Harry said, his eyebrow cocked. Hermione shot up and plastered an innocent smile on her face, shoving the drawer closed. “Any particular reason as to why you were looking through my clothes drawer?” Hermione looked down as her face turned pink in embarrassment.

“I was going to get you some clothes for your birthday, but I realized that I didn’t know your measurements.” They both started laughing at that point.

“If you wanted that, you could have just asked,” Harry said between chuckles. “I wear size 26-30 pants, a men’s medium shirt and size 9-1/2 shoes.”

“I didn’t ask you because it was meant to be a surprise,” Hermione muttered, still blushing. Harry walked over and draped his arm over her shoulder.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “As long as you don’t go through my underwear drawer, all is good.” This time, Hermione cocked her eyebrow.

“Oh? Is there something you’re hiding from me, Mister Potter?” she asked coyly. If Harry could blush, he would have, but instead he settled for a flat “No.” Hermione laughed and pinched Harry’s cheek. “Oh, you know I’m only teasing you, Harry.” Harry said nothing and merely pouted.

Later that night, they Apparated into Diagon Alley, which at that hour was largely abandoned. Hermione walked into Madam Malkin’s right before closing, while Harry hung around nervously outside, looking for anyone who could recognize him, as well as any Death Eaters. Half an hour later, Hermione came out with a large box under her arm. When they Apparated back to Grimmauld Place, she gave Harry the box.

“Happy belated birthday, Harry,” she said before walking out.

“Where are you going?” Harry asked. Trying not to blush, Hermione turned around and cocked an eyebrow at him.

“If you wanted me to see you half-naked, Potter, all you had to do was ask,” she said teasingly. It took a moment for Harry to figure out what she said, and by then she ran off laughing. Rolling his eyes, he opened the box to see several articles of black cloth and leather, with a note on top of it.

Happy belated birthday, Harry!

I hope that the clothes are to your liking. I would have gotten them sooner, but I didn’t know your measurements and have been kind of busy lately.

The shirt and pants are made out of Acromantula silk. The rest are made of Hungarian Horntail hide, dyed black, obviously. Both materials have shielding charms that will block most spells and curses, and are tear-resistant. They are also charmed to repel dirt and dust, so they don’t get dirty.

The wand holster also has anti-summoning charms on it, and is invisible to all but the wearer.

You can never get too much protection.

Love,

Hermione.

Harry chuckled at the practicality of the gift, and began to strip down to his socks and underwear before putting on his battle gear.

Five minutes later, he finished lacing his boots and transfigured a chair into a full-length mirror and was impressed by what he saw. He was wearing a dragon hide vest over his shirt, and had dragon hide leg guards and a belt tied onto his pants, as well as dragon hide boots. He also wore dragon hide gloves and a dragon hide trench coat that went almost down to his ankles. All in all, Harry thought he looked rather intimidating. He stepped out to find Hermione reading in the library and knocked on the table to get her attention.

“Well, how do I look?” he asked, twirling around. Giggling, she walked over to him and straightened out his coat.

“Intimidating,” she said. “Spray paint a skull on your chest, and you’ll look like the Punisher.” Harry’s expression turned from gleeful to blank when Hermione made the reference. “It’s an old American comic book. One of the characters dressed a lot like you are now.” Harry nodded, still not quite understanding it but accepting Hermione’s word on it. “You remember that the wedding is tomorrow, right?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said. “They probably would delay it for us, but…we need to see them sometime, we can’t keep my…condition from them forever.” Harry sighed, rubbing his forehead with his hand. “We’ll go tomorrow night.”

“Okay,” Hermione said.

At eight ‘o clock the next night, Harry was dressed in his new clothes that Hermione got him, while Hermione dressed in a green sweater and jeans. Concentrating on the back yard of the Burrow, they spun around and Apparated with a crack. But when he opened his eyes, Harry found himself in the middle of a battlefield, and Hermione nowhere to be found.

“Hermione!” he shouted as he shot stunners at the Death Eaters. “Hermione, where are you?”

“I’m outside the grounds!” he heard her shout. “There’s an anti-apparation ward up!”

“Damn it,” Harry swore to himself as he banished a Death Eater away from him, knocking his head against a table. Harry turned around to see a Death Eater revive his stunned companion. Okay, stunners are out, time for something a bit more destructive, Harry thought, sending a silent reducto to them, smashing the ground beneath them and sending them flying. Harry heard a blood-curdling scream and he spun around to see Ginny Weasley being held under the cruciatus curse by none other than Bellatrix Lestrange. Upon seeing her, Harry was filled with rage and ran towards her, tackling her and breaking the spell.

“Looks like wee baby Potter’s gone Muggle on us,” Bellatrix cooed in her annoying baby voice, cackling madly. Her laughing was immediately traded with a look of horror when Harry hissed, baring his fangs.

“Wee baby Potter’s got a few new tricks up his sleeve,” he snarled, pulling her head back to expose her neck. Panicking, Bellatrix shot him with the first spell she could think of.

Avada kedavra!” she screamed, but the green spell impacted his chest uselessly. Ignoring the attack, he bent down and bit down on Bellatrix’s jugular, reveling in the tangy, metallic taste as it poured down his throat.

As he drank, memories flashed through his mind. Images of being endlessly doted upon as a child, making fun of and beating other children, of torturing other students during Hogwarts, and of torturing and killing wizards and Muggles alike under Voldemort’s rule.

As Harry stood up and wiped his mouth, he looked around to see Death Eaters Apparating away, and Hermione popped beside him, before looking at Bellatrix’s corpse and gasping in horror. Harry looked up to see the Weasley and Delacour family looking at him in shock and horror. Feeling a hint of shame in his heart, he prepared to Apparate away when several cracks were heard behind him.

“Freeze!” a voice yelled. “Drop your wand and get put your hands up, right now!” Ignoring the auror’s voice, Harry just Apparated back into the master bedroom of Grimmauld Place and ran into the bathroom. He ran the water and rinsed his hands and face of the blood, but could not help but feel dirty about what had happened. Properly cleaned, he crawled into a corner of the room and started crying softly.

For a moment, Hermione was too shocked to move, but she quickly realized that Harry was probably tearing himself up about this, and prepared to Apparate when a voice called her.

“Hermione!” a voice shouted. She turned around to see Mrs. Weasley standing, tears in her eyes. “Where are you going?”

“To help Harry,” she said simply. “He needs me now.” Before anyone could respond, she spun around and disappeared with a crack. When she reappeared in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place, she started looking through the places that he would most likely be. The library? Nothing. The training room? Still nothing. She tried the master bedroom, and found it locked. She pressed her ear to the door and heard quiet sobbing on the other side.

“Harry, can you let me in?” she asked, knocking on the door. The sobbing quieted and a few seconds later, the door swung open, tear streaks running down Harry’s pale cheeks. They just stared at each other wordlessly before he stepped aside to allow her entry. When she stepped inside, she carefully wrapped her arms around Harry and pulled him close.

“I killed her,” he whispered hoarsely. “I killed someone.” When the tears returned, Hermione could do nothing but pull him down onto the floor and rub his back soothingly.

“Harry, she deserved it. In killing her, you saved hundreds of innocent lives. You acted on your impulses, as usual.” This just made him sob harder.

“How? How can you stand to be near me? Near a monster?” She lifted his head up so that she could see his face.

“Harry, look at me. You’re not a monster. Would you bite me? Or Ron, or Professor Lupin, or any of your friends?” Sniffling, Harry shook his head weakly. “You’re a good person, Harry, and you can control this.”

“That’s not the only thing,” Harry whispered. “When I was feeding, I saw her memories. I saw everything that she had ever did. I know I didn’t do it, but I can’t help but feel as if it’s a part of me now, and I’m scared. I’m scared of what I’ve turned into.”

“You’ll be okay, Harry,” Hermione cooed soothingly, kissing the top of Harry’s head softly. “You’ll be okay.” Several hours later, after all of his tears had been cried, they drifted to sleep there, leaning on the wall in each other’s arms.

----

Now we know what happens when vampires drink human blood. One question answered.

I still want to know what you think the vampire genesis is, as it seems I won’t be revealing it for a while.

Don’t forget to read and review!

Chapter 5: Chapter 5
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As usual, I don’t own Harry Potter. I just own the plot, Darknight, and any other original ideas and characters that may show up.

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John Witter liked his job as an auror, with the exception of today. Being a seventh year during Harry Potter’s fourth, he always liked the kid. John rooted for Harry during the Tri-Wizard tournament and was one of the few who didn’t believe the Ministry of Magic’s public smear campaign against him the following year. But tonight, John was called on his first mission, a response to an attack at Ottery St. Catchpole. When he arrived, he saw a figure dressed in black leather standing away from them. He caught a glimpse of the guy’s face before he Disapparated, and was shocked to see that it was Harry Potter’s, smeared with blood. Upon examining the body of Bellatrix Lestrange, it was confirmed that she died from a vampire bite. Now it fell on John to tell the head auror that their vampire was probably Harry Potter. If he were a gambling man, he’d wager ten galleons that there would be a warrant for the arrest and probable extermination of Harry by the end of the day. Sighing, John poked his head into the head auror’s office.

“I hate to disturb you, sir, but I’ve got some good news and some bad news.”

John Witter really hated his job tonight.

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Hermione stirred, and she cracked one eye to see that she was tucked into the master bed. She looked at her watch to see that it was almost 9:30 in the morning. She also noticed that she was alone. Quietly slipping out of bed, she walked out of the room to find Harry. When she passed the library, she saw that the door was open, and looked inside to see Harry sitting at the table, clutching his head in apparent discomfort. She gently rapped her fingernails against the wall and he looked up.

“Good morning, sunshine,” he said quietly. Smiling slightly, she walked in and pulled herself a chair to sit down next to him.

“How are you feeling?” she asked him. Harry let his head drop back into his hands, groaning.

“Now so well,” he muttered. “Bellatrix’s memories are starting to give me a headache.” Harry rubbed his temples to emphasize his point before continuing. “I did find something, though. Apparently, Bellatrix was the one assigned to watch Hufflepuff’s cup.” Hermione visibly brightened at this news.

“That’s great, Harry!” she said excitedly. Harry just shook his head, not looking up at her.

“Not really,” he said. “All I remember is that it’s in a dark, nondescript room. I have no idea where it is or what defenses it has around it. Right now, I’m trying to pick through her memories to see if it’s there.” Hermione’s face adopted a saddened expression, and she rubbed Harry’s shoulder sympathetically.

“Is there anything I can do to help?” she asked. Harry didn’t immediately respond, but after a minute he looked up at her.

“Do you think you can perform legilimency?” he asked. Hermione could only gape at him, shocked. “With you poking through my head, this’ll probably go faster,” Harry explained. He reached over and held her hand. “Hermione, I trust you; I know you won’t mind-rape me like…” Harry paused; he couldn’t bring himself to address Snape by name. “…I trust you.” With Harry’s declaration of trust in her, Hermione reluctantly nodded her head. Drawing her wand, they scooted their chairs a few more inches away from each other, before Hermione aimed her wand at Harry.

Legilimens,” she said. Harry immediately felt a presence worming its way through his mind and instinctively slammed mental shields he didn’t even know he had down on it, knocking Hermione back slightly.

“I’m sorry, I just reacted,” Harry said, shaking his head. “Give me a moment to prepare.” After a few seconds, he nodded, and Hermione took aim again.

Legilimens.” Again, Harry felt the foreign presence creeping through his mind, but struggled to keep himself from slamming his shields down again. As Hermione dug deeper into Harry’s subconscious, the more she felt like she was drifting out of her own body. Staring into Harry’s pale green eyes, she saw her world go black. A moment later, her vision returned, and she saw herself standing in a small bedroom with clothes and other miscellaneous junk strewn about. “This place is a dump,” she thought out loud.

“That hurt, Granger,” a voice said. Hermione spun around to see Harry clutching his chest dramatically. “I’ll have you know that there’s a method to all my chaos.” Hermione couldn’t help but snort in skepticism. Harry just rolled his eyes and opened a drawer randomly. Inside were several photo albums, not unlike the one where he held the pictures of his friends and parents. He grabbed the top one and opened it to the first page, and the photo played a scene from when he was eleven and vanished the glass pane from the boa constrictor exhibit prior to receiving his first Hogwarts letter. After flipping through the entire album and not finding anything important, he tossed it aside and grabbed another one.

Harry did not know how much time had passed when Hermione called him. He walked over and she pointed at a photo. They watched as in the dead of night, Bellatrix Lestrange Apparated right outside of a building Harry recognized as the orphanage that Voldemort grew up in. They watched as she walked inside the building in obvious disgust and walked through a trap door in the floor. They watched as she pulled a glowing green emerald from her pocket and entered a secret chamber, where Hufflepuff’s cup stood on a lone pedestal. After inspecting the area for a few minutes, she left back the way she came. Finding what they were looking for, Hermione released the connection, and she found herself in her own body.

“That was…weird,” she said. She stood up and swayed slightly as she regained her bearings. Shaking his head to rid himself of the remaining fuzziness in his head, Harry also stood up.

“But at least we know where the cup is,” Harry said excitedly. Hermione grinned at his newfound enthusiasm, but it quickly faded.

“There’s just one problem, Harry: Bellatrix was carrying a ward stone. That crystal renders the holder immune to whatever traps Voldemort happened to lay down, so we know absolutely nothing about what could be waiting for us down there.” Harry’s smile immediately disappeared. “I think we’re going to need Bill Weasley’s help.” It immediately dawned on Harry how difficult it would be to attain help from said Weasley, considering the display he showed the night before.

“Oh, damn,” he muttered.

Meanwhile, at the rickety house known as the Burrow, Arthur Weasley was nursing a glass of firewhiskey. He had dark circles under his eyes, but to be fair, no one in that house had slept well the past few nights. First with Harry’s disappearance, then Hermione’s, and now with the revelation that Harry was a vampire, sleep was the last thing on everyone’s minds now.

Right after the attack, the Order assembled to discuss it, and Arthur told the others about Harry’s vampirism, and it hit them hard. After recovering from the initial shock, Moody suggested that they shove a stake in his heart, a suggestion that nearly had the ex-auror mobbed by almost the entire Order. Professor McGonnagal was so shocked Arthur was afraid she would have heart failure, and if it weren’t for Tonks, Remus probably would have completely snapped. His own wife was so fraught with worry that she passed out from exhaustion. He didn’t know how his children reacted, for they immediately locked themselves in their rooms, only coming out to use the loo, and not speaking to anyone during those times.

Personally, Arthur didn’t know what to think. On the one hand, Harry was almost like another son to him. He was kind, gentle, polite, and a good friend to his son Ron. On the other hand, he was a vampire now, one of the darkest creatures known to mankind. He shuddered at the thought of what he could do to Hermione if his hunger took over. With his confusion and conflictions threatening to tear him in two, he did the only thing he could think of.

He poured himself another glass and slammed it down.

Back at Grimmauld Place, Hermione finished the illegal Portkey that she would use to bring Bill over to them. After finding a ring that – after much scrutiny, proved harmless – Hermione enchanted it and slipped it on her right index finger, the opal glinting off her finger.

“You know, I’m not so fond of kidnapping Bill,” she said, twirling the ring.

“I know,” Harry said, “but I doubt that there’s anything we could say that would make him come willingly.” Harry walked up behind her and looked down at the ring. “It looks nice,” he said.

“Thanks,” Hermione replied. Harry quietly wrapped his arms around Hermione, pulling her close to him.

“Hermione, if things start going south tonight, I want you to get out of there.” Hermione turned around in his arms and glared at him.

“If you even think I’m going to abandon you--!” she started to rant.

Please, Hermione!” Harry practically begged. “Please don’t argue with me, not this time. I don’t want anything to happen to you.” Hermione sighed in exasperation.

“Harry, if this is just your ‘saving people thing’ kicking in again, I can take care of myself, and you know that.” Harry’s somber look only became gloomier, and Hermione frowned in concern. “It’s not just that, is it?” Harry shook his head negatively. “What is it then?” Harry stepped back so he was holding Hermione at arms length.

“I’m scared, Hermione,” he said softly. “I’m scared of losing you. I know that it’ll happen eventually, as I’m immortal and you’re not, but I want you to live the longest life possible, not to die because of some trap Voldemort laid down. I don’t want to feel that heartache so soon.” He chuckled humorlessly. “Ironic, since we seem to be founded by heartache,” he added bitterly. Hermione brought one hand up to cup Harry’s cheek.

“What do you mean?” Hermione whispered. Harry shook his head and grabbed her hand, gently pulling her to the sitting room, where they both sat on the sofa.

“Do you know how the vampires were created?” he asked, looking at Hermione. When she shook her head, he looked away. “I didn’t think so, it’s not something I would want published.” Harry sighed deeply as he began to tell his story. “Centuries ago, before the founding of Hogwarts, there was a young woman, her name lost in the sands of time, whose lover had died in battle. She asked a wizard to bring him back, and the wizard brought her to a cave. The wizard told her that if she could go into the cave and find her lover, she could bring him back, so she went in.

“She searched for Merlin knows how long. Her food began stale and dusty and her water ran dry. She would be attacked by bats, who would draw her blood from her flesh. Eventually, she began drinking the blood of rats and other vermin to keep herself watered. Occasionally, she would find other people who were on similar quests. Sometimes, she was so maddened by hunger that she slit their throats and drank their blood from the wounds.” Harry paused to collect himself while Hermione made a gagging sound. “No one knows how long she was down there, but eventually, she saw no other option but to give up, and return to the surface. But when she arose, the sunlight burned her, and she had to wait until nighttime to leave.

“When she finally arose from that cursed abyss, she was changed. Her teeth had grown into fangs like the bats who feasted on her blood. Her skin had grown gray, and her flesh had gone cold, like that of a corpse. And when she felt her chest, her broken heart would no longer beat.

“She later found out that everyone she had ever known and loved had died decades before, and she was all alone. Driven by her hunger and grief, she sought to change others, to condemn them to the same curse that she had, to make others share her heartache that comes with watching all that you know, all that you love wither away, and you are left behind.” Harry turned to Hermione, tears threatening to fall from his eyes. “Now you know my reasons, so promise me that you’ll keep yourself safe. Please.” Her own eyes filling with tears, she reached up to kiss Harry on the top of the head before pulling him into a hug.

“I promise,” she whispered into his ear. For the next several hours, they simply sat there holding each other, no words being spoken between them.

That afternoon, Hermione Apparated into Diagon Alley and walked into the tall white building that was Gringotts. After waiting in line for almost fifteen minutes, she walked up to the goblin clerk.

“State your business,” it growled. Gulping, Hermione stood a little straighter.

“I need to speak with Bill Weasley,” she said confidently. The goblin eyed her suspiciously.

“Do you have an appointment?” it snarled.

“No, but it’s really urgent that I speak to him,” Hermione said, thinking of some sort of excuse to give to the goblin. “It’s a family emergency.” The goblin considered it for a minute before scribbling something down on a piece of parchment and snapping its fingers, making the parchment disappear. Within minutes, Bill came dashing out into the lobby.

“I got a message about a family emergen—Hermione!” Bill panted. He pulled Hermione into a hug which she awkwardly returned. “Mum and Dad have been going spare over you! What’s the emergency?” Hermione glanced around nervously.

“I’ll tell you outside,” she said quickly. Nodding, Bill ran outside the building as if Death Eaters were chasing him. “I’m really sorry, Bill, activus,” she muttered under her breath, activating the Portkey. When she walked outside, Bill looked like he was about to rip his hair out.

“What’s going on, Hermione?” he asked anxiously. Instead of answering, she slapped Bill on the shoulder, activating the Portkey and taking them back to Grimmauld Place. “Where are we?” he asked, confused.

“The most noble and ancient house of Black,” a voice said behind him. Bill spun around to see Harry leaning on a wall. “Former headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, and my current hiding spot,” he continued. Bill reached for his wand, but he couldn’t find it. He turned around to see Hermione twirling it in her hand.

“What do you want from me?” Bill asked, trying to sound brave, but Harry could detect the fear in his voice.

“Your help, actually,” Harry said. “You see, Hermione and I are on a little quest, but it seems that at least one of our objectives is guarded by traps of unknown amount and nature. You need your expertise as a curse breaker to get to it. Interested?” Bill thought about what Harry said.

“Why should I trust you, after you kidnapped me?” he spat. Harry simply shrugged.

“Was there anything either of us could have said that would have made you come willingly?” he asked. Bill realized that he was right; he probably wouldn’t have even considered the possibility of doing this willingly.

“What do I get out of this?” he asked. Again, Harry shrugged.

“What do you want to get out of this?” Bill considered his answer. He quickly came to the conclusion that nothing mattered more than his family.

“You leave my family alone,” Bill said. Harry nodded in acceptance.

“That I can do. Though it pains me to see that you would think so little of me because of my condition, I guess I can understand it. We leave at nine tonight. Help yourself to the food in the pantry.” Nothing more needing to be said, Harry turned around and walked away. Hermione handed Bill back his wand.

“Can we trust him, Hermione?” Bill asked quietly. “I mean, he is a vampire after all.” Hermione glared at Bill.

“Yes, we can trust him, Bill. He may be a vampire, but he’s still Harry. And besides, you’re a werewolf now; between that and your social status, you should know what it’s like being on the wrong end of prejudices.” With a huff, Hermione stormed off, leaving Bill standing in the middle of the sitting room. “And don’t try to Apparate out!” Hermione called out as she left.

That night, after Harry had lowered the anti-Apparation wards around Grimmauld Place, the three of them Apparated to the orphanage that Voldemort used to live in, now little more than an abandoned building. Bill checked the front door for any curses or booby traps and, finding none, they walked in. Apparently, it had been a while since Bellatrix had last inspected the horcrux, as her footprints were almost completely covered by a new layer of dust.

“Here,” Harry said, pointing to where the trap door was. Bill pulled out his wand and pointed it at the trap door.

Periculosus revelio,” he chanted, and the door glowed blue, indicating that there were no traps. Harry lifted the door up and walked down, Bill and Hermione following. When they reached the bottom of the stairs, Harry moved aside for Bill to cast the spell again. This time, from about six inches away from the pedestal, the ground glowed red, and four lines reached to the corners of the room, highlighting four small crystals. “Demonstro,” Bill cast, and he watched as details of the trap scrolled across his vision, unseen by the other two people in his company. “This is a lightning trap. You step on the rigged area, and it shoots electricity at you and burns you to a crisp. I saw a few of these in Egypt, they’re not that hard.” A few quick counter-spells later, and the area was successfully disarmed.

“It’s strange that Voldemort—” Bill shuddered when Harry said the name. “You’re almost thirty, Bill, grow a backbone. Anyway, isn’t it strange that Voldemort would have such a simple spell guarding something as important as this?” Hermione shrugged in confusion.

“The only thing I can think of is between its out-of-the-way location, the lethality of the trap, and that very few people know what exactly this is, I guess he didn’t feel the need.” Bill looked back and forth between the two young adults.

“Okay, what the hell is this, and why is it so important?” he asked. Harry looked straight at Bill.

“It’s Hufflepuff’s cup,” Harry said. “It is also a very dangerous object, the nature of which you cannot know.” Harry walked over to the cup and carefully picked it up off its pedestal. After realizing that no boulders or painful spells were coming his way, he pulled a folded pillowcase out of his pocket and dropped the cup inside it, tying it off. “I’ll be back,” he said before disappearing with a crack.

Harry Apparated inside the Chamber of Secrets underneath Hogwarts. Grabbing a stray rock, Harry transfigured it into a large oak table and placed the cursed chalice on top of it before Disapparating, the crack echoing within the large, empty chamber.

Hermione and Bill fidgeted nervously while waiting for Harry, even though he was only gone less than two minutes. When Harry reappeared, he turned to Bill.

“Thanks for the help, Bill,” Harry said, patting the older man on the shoulder. “We really appreciate the help.” Bill could only stare dumbly at Harry.

“Umm…thanks,” he said, unsure how to react.

“I hope the wedding goes well,” Hermione said. Bill suddenly looked very nervous.

“Umm, yeah, about the wedding…” he said hesitantly. “Between the two of you disappearing, Mum decided to postpone the wedding.” This shocked both Harry and Hermione.

“What?!” they shouted simultaneously.

“That’s not fair to you or Fleur!” Hermione exclaimed. “This wedding is about you, and you shouldn’t delay it just because of us.” Bill shrugged helplessly.

“I tried to tell her that you wouldn’t want us to delay the wedding on your part, but you know how she is,” he said. Hermione suddenly got an idea.

“Elope,” she simply said. Bill just looked at her, not understanding. “You and Fleur find the pastor or whoever is wedding you, maybe grab a couple of close family members for witnesses and elope! You two should have your happiness while you can.” Bill thought about it, and nodded his head.

“Fleur and I joked about that when Mum was preparing the wedding, but now…now I think that’s probably the best idea,” he said. He bent down and gave Hermione a hug. “Thanks.” He let go and after a moment of consideration, gave Harry a handshake. “Next time you need to break into somewhere, you know where to find me,” he said. Nodding, patted Bill on the arm before they walked out of the building and went their separate ways. When Harry and Hermione Apparated back to Grimmauld Place, Harry adopted a pensive look.

“What’s on your mind, Harry?” Hermione asked.

“Just a bit ashamed that we’re the reason why Bill and Fleur aren’t married yet,” Harry said simply. Hermione sighed in dejection.

“Yeah, so am I, but at least they’ll have their happiness now.” They simply stood in silence for a moment before Hermione broke it again. “Are you tired yet?” Harry shook his head.

“Nope. Not time for that, and even if it was, I’m too excited that we got a horcrux. Now all we need to do is get Nagini, something of Ravenclaw’s or Gryffindor’s, and Slytherin’s…locket,” he trailed off, looking at the Black family tapestry. Specifically, the bottom where it said “Regulus Black.” Harry noticed that it didn’t have a middle name, and cursed himself for disposing of Mrs. Black so eagerly, when he remembered something.

“Kreacher!” Harry yelled. With a pop, the filthy pig-nosed house elf popped in front of him.

“What does blood-sucking master wish?” Kreacher asked with a whimper. “And his mudblood wench, oh how my mistress would be ashamed,” he added in a sotto that Harry could hear as clearly as if the elf had shouted it.

“Tell me the full name of Regulus Black,” Harry said. Kreacher didn’t answer right away, but instead whimpered. “Tell me!” Unable to defy a direct order from his master, Kreacher relented.

“Regulus Arcturus Black,” he muttered. Harry nodded in satisfaction.

“Did Regulus bring a locket with an ornate ‘S’ on it before he died?” Harry asked. Kreacher growled; he did not like where this conversation was going.

“Yes,” he admitted sullenly.

“Do you know where it is?” Kreacher grumbled to himself, but he nodded his head. “Bring it to me.” With a look of contempt, Kreacher popped away to reappear seconds later with a silver locket, one that Harry recognized as one that no one could open from the purging of the house two years before. Taking the surprisingly heavy locket from the house elf, he looked down at the being. “Do you remember your previous orders?” he asked.

“Work at Hogwarts, don’t talk or make writing or make signals or nothing to anyone else,” Kreacher grumbled.

“That’s correct,” Harry said. “You are to fall back on those orders until I summon you again. Dismissed.” Bowing, Kreacher disappeared with a crack. Harry Apparated back to the Chamber of Secrets to place the locket next to the cup and returned to Grimmauld Place and pulled Hermione into a hug. “Two horcruxes in one night, I never thought I’d be so lucky,” he said joyously. Laughing lightly, she patted him on the back and he let go.

“So, what do you want to do until we get tired?” she asked. Harry shrugged.

“Exploding snap? I have a deck in my trunk.” Hermione, for once, didn’t really feel like studying, so she nodded in acceptance. Harry ran into his room to get his deck, and they played exploding snap until almost five in the morning.

----

Wow, over ten pages, my longest one yet.

FINALLY, I got the origin of the vampires out in the open. I hope you liked it.

I hope you enjoyed that chapter.

Don’t forget to read and review!

Chapter 6: Chapter 6
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As usual, I don’t own Harry Potter. If I did, Gin-bitch would be dead, the horcruxes wouldn’t exist, and Harmony would have been established a long time ago!

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Remus was, simply put, falling apart. In the past week, he had gotten maybe a couple hours of sleep and spent the rest of the time worrying over what may have happened to Harry. Then Hermione disappears, and the entire Order is in a panic. Then he finds out that Harry is a vampire, and to top it all off, the wizarding world was all but under Voldemort’s rule now. He was certain that if it weren’t for his new and pregnant wife, Nymphadora Tonks Lupin, he would have snapped long ago. Remus idly fiddled with his gold wedding band, lost in his thoughts, when he heard a soft padding behind him.

“Remus, you can’t keep beating yourself up like this,” Tonks said tiredly. “Harry wouldn’t want you to get yourself killed because you’re too tired to even walk straight.” Remus sighed as he stood up from his chair.

“I can’t sleep, Dora, not with everything that’s been going on,” Remus groaned, running his fingers through his graying hair. “I can’t sleep knowing that Harry and Hermione are doing Merlin knows what, and I can’t be there to help them. I can’t sleep knowing that I failed Lily and James…again.” Tears welling up in her eyes, Tonks strode over to her husband and wrapped him in a tight hug.

“You didn’t fail them, babe, there was nothing you could have done,” she whispered. “Right now, the best thing you can do right now is come to bed and get a decent night’s sleep.” She pulled back and looked into Remus’ gray, watery eyes. “If you won’t do it for yourself, then do it for me,” she continued, taking his hands and placing one on her cheek, placing the other on her abdomen. “Do it for our baby.” Slowly, Remus nodded and bent down to kiss Tonks softly on the lips.

“I’m sorry, Dora,” he whispered, pulling her close. “I love you.” Tonks sniffled into his shoulder, unable to hold the tears back any longer.

“I love you too, Remy,” she said. Together, they walked back to their bedroom and held each other through the long, dark night.

The next night, Harry, Hermione and the photo of Albus Dumbledore were gathered together, discussing possible ways to destroy the Horcruxes.

“Blast it?” Harry offered. Hermione shook her head.

“I doubt that Voldemort would have made his Horcruxes that easy to destroy,” she countered. Harry thought of a different tactic.

“Melt it?” Harry suggested. Hermione considered it, and then shook her head.

“We don’t have a furnace here that can get hot enough to melt the metal, and if we used an acid, we’d need one that’s on the level of basilisk venom in potency, which is very dangerous to acquire and handle.”

“And the only basilisk we have has been dead for five years, and the venom is all dried out,” Harry added, closing his eyes and dropping his head on the table in frustration. “Damn it, we’re screwed.”

“Come now, Harry, wars were never won on the words ‘I give up’. You’ll figure something out,” Albus’ image said reassuringly. Harry lifted his head up and glared at the photo.

“I don’t see you coming up with any ideas,” he said darkly. “To that point, you never told me how you destroyed Gaunt’s ring.” Albus suddenly looked very nervous.

“As I told you before, Harry, I’m simply a copy, I don’t hold all the memories of the original,” he said calmly, but he had no twinkle in his eyes. Harry narrowed his eyes at the portrait.

“You’re lying, I know you are,” Harry growled, ignoring Hermione’s gasp of outrage. “We may both be immortal, Albus, but I have neither the time nor the patience to wait for you to fess up, so tell me how you did it, or I’ll take you to a Muggle office supply store and feed you into a paper shredder,” he continued. Albus merely looked at him nonplussed.

“I can merely return to my portrait hanging in the Headmaster’s office, Harry, you know that,” he said.

“And I can Apparate into Hogwarts, so it’s no real feat of difficulty for me to pop in, rip your portrait off the wall, and pop out. So again, how did you destroy Gaunt’s ring?” Albus sighed in defeat at Harry’s persistence and straightened up to tell him.

“I put it on,” he said simply. Both young adults stared at the photo, shocked.

“You put the ring on,” Hermione repeated softly.

“That’s it?!” Harry yelled. “You just slipped it on your finger?”

“And as you saw, I lost my right hand in the process, Harry,” Albus said firmly. “That is precisely why I didn’t tell you that procedure. Activating a Horcrux and destroying it while the soul inside is trying to stop you is very dangerous. The Chamber of Secrets fiasco is a prime example.” Harry clenched his hands on the edge of the table, his anger slowly slipping away.

“I’m sorry, Albus, but as you no doubt know, I’m sick and tired of having secrets kept from me.” Harry cast a glance at the silver chalice sitting innocently on the table. “But now I know what to do with this,” he added, snatching the cup and walking away.

“Where are you going?” Hermione called after him.

“To get a drink,” Harry yelled back. It didn’t immediately register to Hermione what he said, but when it did, she took off after him in a mad dash. She ran into the kitchen to see Harry pouring the last remnants of a container of blood into the now full cup.

“Harry, don’t do it! We’ll think of something else,” she pleaded. Harry just looked at her with a look of resolution in his eyes.

“Don’t come in until you hear silence,” he said. He flicked his wand, and she was knocked down on her back and sliding across the floor. He flicked his wand again, and the door closed and locked itself with a sickening squelch. She got back on her feet and banged on the kitchen door with her hands.

“Harry! Harry, don’t do this! Harry!” She screamed, but Harry ignored her. He transfigured a knife into a large axe, and squashing away any fear he had, drank the blood in the cup. The normally smooth and sweet blood now poured down his throat rough and hot, but Harry kept drinking, until every last drop was swallowed. Searing hot pain rushed through his body, and he dropped the cup as he fell to the floor, curling into a fetal position, screaming in anguish. He opened his eyes to see a ghostly green mist swirling out of the badger engraved on the cup, and it coalesced into the form of Tom Riddle, somewhere in his twenties. Riddle opened his eyes and looked around in confusion.

“What is this place? Who are you?” he sneered at the crumpled form of Harry. With a visible amount of pain, Harry managed to pull himself back onto his feet.

“That’s not important,” Harry said, grabbing the axe. “What is important that you’re going to be destroyed.” With a yell, Harry swung the axe at Riddle, who in his surprise did not dodge it. However, instead of blood and gore, only a bright white light shone from the wound, which quickly sealed. After realizing what happened, Riddle emitted a cold, humorless laugh.

“You can’t kill me that way, fool,” he chuckled. Harry just grinned patronizingly.

“I know,” he said. “But I can this way,” he continued, swinging the axe down on the cup, which gave a resonating gong, but was otherwise unaffected.

No!” Riddle screamed, realizing what Harry was trying to do. He tried to wrench the axe out of Harry’s hands, but the young vampire kicked Riddle in the stomach, knocking him down. Harry brought the axe down on the cup again, and this time, a small split appeared on the edge, and Riddle’s body began to disintegrate. Struck with agonizing pain, the Horcrux soul could not move to stop Harry, so he continued to bring the axe down on the cup. Slowly, the split in the metal grew, until with a mighty swing, the cup was split in two.

Harry tiredly threw the axe down, ignoring the screams from Riddle’s soul behind him. But as he drew his wand to unlock the door, Riddle’s soul exploded behind him, sending him flying through the door, smashing it. The last thing he saw before his world went black was Hermione kneeling over him with a look of panic on her face.

Hermione normally prided herself on being very level-headed in times of crisus, but when Harry locked the door to battle the Horcrux, she panicked. Forgetting that she had left her wand upstairs, or that she even had one, she began banging on the door with her fists to get it to open, and then tried to kick it when that failed. After several minutes of beating the door vainly, she suddenly remembered that she had a wand, and ran back into her room to retrieve it like Voldemort himself was chasing her. She ran back to the doorway just in time to see Harry being thrown through the door. Screaming, she dropped down onto her knees, watching as Harry went unconscious. Quickly brushing off the splinters on Harry’s body, she grabbed him from under the arms and dragged him to the nearest bedroom, where she struggled to haul him onto the bed. She immediately began taking off Harry’s thick, protective clothes to inspect his body for damage. When she pulled his T-shirt off, she normally would have blushed at Harry’s well-toned body, but now was not the time to be bashful. She carefully ran her fingers down his arms, chest and back, but could find no evidence of damage. Evidently, his dragon hide armor had done its job. But there was the issue of Harry’s catatonic state. Not knowing anything about vampire physiology, all she could do was bring the blanket up to his armpits to protect his modesty and summon a rag and bowl of water to begin cleaning the ash off of Harry’s face.

Harry groaned as he slowly cracked one eye open, and then the other, but he felt strange. He felt…weightless. When he tried to move, he found that he couldn’t. He took in his surroundings and saw that he was in a dark room, surrounded by people in black robes and silver masks. He also saw a young woman hovering before him, utter fear in her eyes.

“Severus,” Harry hissed, gesturing to a Death Eater to his right. “Would you care to do the honors?” As Snape raised his wand, white-hot hatred for his former potions master welled up inside of him, that his host raised his hand. “Wait.”

Lord Voldemort was in a good mood today. He had just put all the pieces into position to take over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts, and he was going to watch the execution of a particularly annoying Mudblood to boot. “Severus, would you care to do the honors?” he offered. Unable to see his face behind his mask, Snape raised his wand and prepared to fire the killing curse, when Voldemort felt a vaguely familiar feeling in his mind. He suddenly felt intense hatred for his follower. “Wait,” Voldemort said, raising his hand. Snape stopped mid-curse and stared at his master in confusion. He could see a growing look of frustration on Voldemort’s face as the barely-human dark lord glared at an invisible object. Suddenly, the thin, pale man stood up from his throne.

“I have urgent business to attend to; send the Mudblood back to her cell and return to your tasks.” With quiet grumbles of disappointment, two Death Eaters violently grabbed the woman and dragged her back to her cell while Voldemort returned to his quarters. Voldemort laid his hands on either side of the wall where a mirror hung and glared into his reflection. “Who are you?” he snarled to himself. Seeing no way out of his predicament, Harry answered back mentally, Take a guess. Voldemort smiled nastily at the answer. “Ahh, Harry, now nice of you to join me. It’s been a while since we’ve last spoken. How’s Dumbledore? Oh wait, he’s dead now, isn’t he? My mistake.” Harry was unamused by Voldemort’s sarcasm, and if he had eyes, he would roll them. “But I’m afraid that you’re on private property, now leave!” Voldemort sent a Legilimency probe at Harry, who instinctively raised his Occlumency shields. To their mutual surprise, Harry successfully managed to completely block Voldemort’s attack.

“Ahh, so you learned a few new tricks, I see. Well, let’s see how long you last!” Again, Voldemort unleashed a vicious mental attack against Harry, who successfully blocked it again. Bring it on, Harry thought smugly.

For almost two weeks, Voldemort locked himself in his room, not allowing anyone inside except the house elf that brought his food and water. For every minute of those weeks, he was locked in mental combat with Harry, not sparing even a moment’s rest, and it was showing. While Harry, even though he could feel the fatigue and hunger from not eating or sleeping for weeks, he could tell that Voldemort was much worse off. Voldemort’s attacks were becoming so weak, Harry could barely feel them anymore. Suddenly coming up with an idea, Harry pushed his way through Voldemort’s weakened mental shields and pushed his consciousness down, possessing his body.

Harry slowly clenched his hands and walked around to gain a feel for his new body. He heard a crack behind him and instinctively spun around, brandishing his wand, to see a terrified house elf carrying a tray of food.

“Bring me the one named Wormtail,” Harry ordered the elf. Nodding fearfully, the house elf vanished with a pop, only to appear a second later with Wormtail in tow. “You may leave us,” Harry told the elf. Bowing, the house elf disappeared again, leaving the two men alone.

“Wormtail,” Harry hissed to the balding, cowering man before him. “I have a task for you.” Shuddering in fear, Wormtail only nodded. “Firstly, you are to find Snape and the Malfoy boy and tell them I require their presence. After that, you are to release the prisoners.” Wormtail looked up in confusion at the second order.

“Which ones, my lord?” he whimpered.

“All of them, alive and unharmed,” Harry said simply. Wormtail didn’t understand his master’s reasoning, but knew better than to ask, so he scurried out of the room to find Snape and Malfoy. After Wormtail had left, Voldemort tried to regain control of his body, but the currently superior Harry knocked him back down. Several minutes later, Snape and Malfoy entered Voldemort’s chambers.

“You summoned us, my lord?” Snape said as they both bowed. Flicking the door closed with his wand, Harry looked down at them, resisting the urge to kill them immediately.

“Yes, I did,” Harry hissed emotionlessly. “I have a task for you two, but first, I require your wands.” Snape and Malfoy looked at each other nervously, but they handed Harry their wands, which he set down. “Now, take a nap,” Harry said, quickly stunning the both of them. Taking a couple pieces of spare parchment and turning them into portkeys, he bound them and sent them to Grimmauld Place. Suddenly, Harry felt his control over Voldemort’s body as his hunger came back with a vengance.

For two weeks, Hermione has tended to Harry’s comatose form. But after cleaning his face, there was nothing she could do except sit by him and hope that he would wake up. Hermione heard a thump come from the floor below, and she grabbed her wand to investigate. She carefully walked down the stairs and into the kitchen to see the unconscious and rope-bound forms of Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy. After stunning them again for good measure, she levitated them to a bedroom and dropped them down.

“Dobby?” she asked, and the excitable little house elf popped in, many colorful hats balancing on his head.

“Dobby come for Harry Potter’s miss!” Dobby said joyfully. Not commenting as to how she was “Harry’s miss,” she smiled kindly down at Dobby.

“Dobby, could you watch these two while I set the anti-Apparation wards, please? And also, could you change their clothes and confiscate any items on their person? That’d be great.” Dobby shook his head vigorously, his hats flying everywhere.

“Dobby will watch bad master and slimy man for Harry Potter’s miss!” Shaking her head, she closed the door and left the house elf to his guard duty while she set the wards to not allow any Apparation into or out of that room. Her job finished, she returned to the room, where the two unconscious Death Eaters had been changed into no doubt the filthiest clothes that Dobby could find.

“Dobby, when they wake up, can you take care of them?” Dobby spun around, his tennis-ball-like eyes threatening to pop out of his head. “By no means do you have to treat them well, but we need them alive for now.” Reluctantly, Dobby nodded, and resumed staring resolutely at his two wards. Hermione simply closed the door and walked back up to Harry’s room, where he laid still as always.

“You wouldn’t believe our luck, Harry,” Hermione whispered, stroking Harry’s hair. “Someone stunned Snape and Malfoy and brought them here. Dobby’s watching them now, and they didn’t have their wands, so I think we’re safe.” Hermione sat quietly, lightly tracing his scar. “Please wake up, Harry. I miss you.” Slowly, she bent over and softly pressed her warm lips to his cold ones. He’ll never know, she thought as she kissed him. When she sat up, she heard Harry groan softly.

“Hermione?” he mumbled. Joyfully, Hermione leaned closer to him.

“I’m here, Harry,” she whispered, tears welling in her eyes. Instead of responding, she heard a bestial growl coming from Harry’s throat. Suddenly his eyes snapped open and he lunged to her. Before she could react or even scream, she felt a sharp pain in her neck as Harry plunged his fangs into her.

----

Hmm…. This is a rather gloomy turn of events. Oh, what will happen next?

I would just like to point out that this was written before I knew what Ravenclaw's Horcrux was, how they got them and how they destroyed them.

Don’t forget to read and review!

Chapter 7: Chapter 7
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Well, all you reviewers who asked me whether Hermione would become a vampire or not will finally have a definitive answer.

I don’t own Harry Potter. I own Darknight, any future original characters, and some physiological aspects of vampirism.

--

As Hermione’s blood flowed smoothly down Harry’s throat, his mind, once twisted and addled with hunger, soon became clear, and memories began flashing across his vision, like a poorly edited film.

A six-year-old girl, wobbling slightly as she attempted to ride a bicycle for the first time.

A seven-year-old, crying while other kids laughed and kicked her bag of books around.

A twelve-year-old, picking up an envelope addressed to her, with a strange seal stamped on the back. A seal with a lion, a badger, an eagle and a serpent.

The same twelve-year-old, sitting nervously on a stool as a large pointed hat is placed on her head.

The twelve-year-old, sitting on a toilet lid, curled into a ball while crying softly.

A fourteen-year-old, accepting a strange golden necklace from an older woman.

A sixteen-year-old, standing in a dark, filthy pub in front of a large group of other students.

A seventeen-year-old, sending shrieking yellow canaries towards a tall-redheaded boy.

An eighteen-year-old, kissing a pale boy softly on the lips while he slept.

Harry threw himself off of Hermione, gasping. Hermione fell on the bed, clutching her throat as she continued to bleed. Panicking, Harry hastily tore off a section of the bed sheet and wadded into a ball, pressing it against the wound on her throat.

“I’m so sorry, Hermione,” Harry sobbed as he pressed the wad of cloth against her neck, trying to stop the bleeding. “Please forgive me, I’m so sorry.”

“Harry...” Hermione gasped, feeling her life slipping away. “I...I...” she stuttered, but her mind was going fuzzy from the blood loss.

“Everything’s going to be okay, Hermione, just hold on!” Harry said, wracking his brain to try and remember a healing spell, but he couldn’t remember.

“Harry, I...lo...I lo...” she whispered as her eyes began to flutter. Harry gasped as she saw how far gone she was, and knew he had only one way to save her.

“I’m sorry, Hermione,” he said as he pulled his wand out. “Diffindo,” he chanted, hissing in pain as he sliced a gash into his wrist, and held the wound to her lips, where she began to suck greedily. She drank until her eyes fluttered closed, and she completely collapsed onto the bed. Tearing off a fresh piece of sheet, he wrapped the rag around his wrist to seal the wound, and cleaned the blood off of Hermione’s neck and mouth, before picking her up and Apparating to another bedroom, where he gently set her down. Harry looked down at Hermione’s slumbering form, before hesitantly kissing her on the forehead. “Forgive me,” he whispered again as he stood up and quietly walked out and closed the door behind him. As Harry walked out, he idly wondered if a vampire could get drunk.

Harry dug into the pantry and pulled out a large, amber bottle of Odgen’s firewhiskey. Instead of pouring it into a glass, Harry pulled the cap off and took a gulp straight from the bottle, nearly gagging as the alcohol burned his throat on its way down. As soon as the firewhiskey passed through his esophagus and into his stomach, a searing pain shot through Harry’s body, emanating from his abdomen, feeling like his stomach had caught fire. Harry fell to his knees before projectile vomiting all over the kitchen, the floor splattered by thin, red liquid. Harry groaned in pain while he flicked his wand, cleaning the mess that he had made.

Harry crawled into the pantry and pulled out a container of pig’s blood and drained the entire container to satiate his newborn hunger. His stomach filled once more, Harry pulled himself to his feet and walked out of the kitchen. Harry thought about interrogating Snape and Malfoy, but decided against it since between his anger towards the two of them combined with the anger he was feeling towards himself, he might fly into a rage and kill them before he could glean any useful information from them. So Harry levitated a sofa so that it sat in front of the fireplace, started a fire and levitated a log into the blaze, and finally sat down and stared into the fire, watching the log wither away into ash.

Hermione stirred from her slumber, groaning as she stretched. Where am I? she thought groggily. She remembered Snape and Malfoy’s unconscious forms appearing, ordering Dobby to watch them, and then she returned to Harry….

And Harry bit her.

Hermione shot straight up as she remembered what happened. She felt her neck, and felt two small puncture scars where her jugular was. She ran to the nearest bathroom and stared at her reflection in the mirror. She looked mostly the same, aside from her bloody clothes, but her once slightly tanned skin had gone pale, and her eyes, once dark, murky brown, had become lighter, an almost honey color. She bared her teeth, and saw that her canines had grown to become two long fangs. Tears started welling up in her eyes, but she quickly patted them away with a towel. After going back to her room and changing into new clothes, as well as disposing of the old ones, she walked down the stairs to see Harry sitting in front of the fireplace, watching the last few embers flicker away.

“I never should have written to you,” Harry said as she approached, even though he didn’t look in her direction. “I never should have asked you to join me. I’m cursed; everyone I care about seems to get hurt or die nowadays. My parents, Cedric, Sirius, Albus, and now you. When is it going to stop?” he asked, mostly to himself. Instead of answering, Hermione just walked over to the sofa and sat silently next to him.

“Their deaths weren’t your fault, Harry,” Hermione said, placing a hand on his arm. “There was nothing you could do for Cedric. Sirius, Dumbledore, your parents, they all died to protect you.”

“And you?” Harry asked, not looking at her. “Whose fault is it that you’re a vampire now?” Hermione swallowed quietly before answering.

“Mine,” she said simply. Harry quickly turned his head to her in confusion, and she saw that he seemed to have been crying for some time. “I never should have hovered over you like that. It was stupid of me. You were in a coma for two weeks; I should have known that you would be hungry after not feeding for that long.” Hermione paused as she wiped away a tear. “In a strange, twisted sense, I’m kind of glad that you turned me,” she continued, shocking Harry. “The truth is I was scared. I was scared to die. I would never abandon you for my own ambitions, but there’s still so much I want to do. I wanted to graduate, maybe expand S.P.E.W., or maybe become a healer, or go to a Muggle university, or something. I wanted to fall in love, get married, and have children.” By now, tears were freely rolling down Hermione’s cheeks. “I mean yes, part of me is angry, because now I’ll never be able to have any of that, but another part of me is glad that I didn’t die…I just don’t know why yet.” For several moments, they just sat silently, until Harry reached out and grabbed Hermione’s hand.

“I’m sorry for taking all that away from you,” he whispered. “No one should be condemned to this life, but I panicked, and I couldn’t lose you, so I did the first thing I could think of.” Harry chuckled darkly. “I guess this just blew any chance you had with Ron,” he said casually. Hermione gaped at him.

“What would possess you to think that I liked Ron?” she gasped. Harry suddenly looked very nervous.

“Erm…the way that Ron reacted at the Yule Ball, it was pretty obvious that he fancied you, and the way you acted all jealous last year, I figured you fancied him too. And then there was the funeral,” he said. Hermione just shook her head at him.

“I don’t fancy him, Harry. Sure, I might have thought about it, but I quickly realized that with all the bickering we do, we’d likely be at each others’ throats all the time. And the funeral? Ron was just a convenient shoulder to cry on. And besides, I kind of…fancied someone else.” Harry cocked his eyebrow at her.

“Oh? Is it someone I know?” he asked teasingly. Hermione laughed, even though inside, she was beyond terrified that he had figured it out.

“Maybe,” she said evasively. Harry stroked an imaginary goatee as he thought about it.

“It is a bloke that you fancy, right?” he asked, which earned him a hard slap in the arm. “Okay, okay, I was just checking. Is it McLaggen?” he asked, throwing in the first name he thought of. Hermione scrunched her nose in disgust.

“Why the hell would I fancy that egotistical prat?” she asked.

“I guess that means you don’t fancy Malfoy then?” If Hermione were drinking something, she would have sprayed it all over the room. As it was, she merely cast a withering glare at him.

“You would have to be on some pretty powerful drugs to think that I would ever fancy Draco Malfoy,” she growled. Harry grinned cheekily.

“Who said anything about Draco? I was talking about Lucius.” With a shriek, Hermione tackled Harry to the ground, where they wrestled on the floor, laughing like little children. When they stopped, they both realized that they were in a very compromising position, with Hermione straddling Harry’s waist and her face mere inches from his. Unable to blush, she got off of him and pulled him up, both with stupid grins on their faces.

“Thanks for that, Hermione,” Harry said as he stood beside her. “It felt good to laugh again.” He bent down to kiss her on the cheek, but didn’t see Hermione turn her head.

“You’re welcome, Ha—” she started as she turned her head, but was cut off when Harry’s lips unexpectedly pressed into hers. They simply stood there, too stunned to move, before they separated.

“Sorry,” she said quickly as she turned to leave. But as she started to walk away, Harry suddenly remembered something.

“Hermione, wait,” he said, and she stopped, fearing the worst. “Why did you kiss me?” Hermione gulped nervously.

“It was just an accident, Harry, it was nothing,” she said, not turning to face him.

“Not that; yesterday, you kissed me while I was still in a coma. Why?” Hermione was glad that she was facing away from him, for her tears began to fall again.

“Don’t make me answer that, Harry,” she said in a barely audible whisper. She gasped as she felt Harry laid a gentle hand on her shoulder.

“Hermione,” he whispered. “The boy you fancy…is it me?” Hermione could finally contain it no longer.

“Yes! Yes, I fancy you!” she shouted, turning to face him. “It’s been you since the end of second year! I watched and I waited and I hoped for four years that you would notice me, but that day never came,” she sobbed as she collapsed into Harry’s arms. Harry pulled her closer as she cried all her sorrows, all her heartache into his shoulder. When her sobbing had descended into sniffles, he carefully pulled her away and lifted her head.

“Hermione,” he whispered, wiping away the stray tears from her cheeks with his thumbs. “I want you to know that Ginny and I are through. I may have broken up with her to keep her safe, but now…now I don’t feel anything when I think of her.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Hermione whispered, looking deeply into his eyes. Harry gulped nervously as he stared down into hers.

“Because, even though any potential feelings I have for you, or anyone has been rather low on my priority list, considering all that’s happened, it tears me up to see you hurting like this. I can’t honestly say whether I fancy you or not, but…I’m willing to give us a try.” Hermione fought to keep new tears from forming at these words.

“And if we don’t work out? What if we end up having a bitter break-up and hating each other forever?” she gasped.

“I could never hate you, and you have said twice that you could never hate me, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Harry assured. He hesitated for a moment before continuing. “Hermione, will you be my girlfriend?” Hermione nodded her head softly.

“Yes, I’ll be your girlfriend,” she whispered. Harry pulled her back onto the sofa and pulled her into his arms, and they sat like that for hours. No kisses, no small talk, just holding each other tightly.

That night, Hermione waved her wand one last time over a letter before folding it and stuffing it in an envelope and sealing it.

“Done,” she said, handing Harry the envelope.

“Thanks, I just hope we’re not too late,” Harry said, mostly to himself, before Disapparating with a crack. He appeared a few meters away from the Burrow, the living place of the enormous Weasley family. Needing to contact on of its members, Harry pulled a pebble out of the dirt and flung it as hard as he could.

The Weasley family was currently enjoying its weekly family dinner with a new addition, Fleur Delacour Weasley. It took over a week of near-constant arguing with his mother, but Bill had managed to continue the wedding without Harry and Hermione, saying that that’s what they would have wanted. They were currently laughing at a joke that the twins had told when they heard a tapping on the window.

“Bill, could you be a darling and check to see what that is?” Molly asked. Bill obediently stood up and looked outside the window. He blanched when he saw a pale figure in black clothes standing out in the fields, pointing away from the house before walking away.

“It’s just a gnome throwing rocks around, Mum, I’ll go get rid of it,” he said quickly, rushing out the door. He bent over by the window for a few seconds to make the impression that he was digging for the gnome, then ran in the direction that Harry had went, yelling profanities to the imaginary garden gnome.

When Bill arrived at where Harry was waiting, he was covered in dirt and gasping for breath.

“I thought I told you not to bother my family,” he snapped, although the image of him with his hands on his knees, panting had destroyed the image of intimidation.

“I’m not bothering them; I’m bothering you,” Harry said simply, drawing an envelope out of his pocket. “I need you to send this to Remus and Tonks for me, since this is too sensitive to send by owl. Make sure that no one else knows about this.” Bill nodded his head and took the envelope, folding it and stuffing it deep enough in his back pocket that it didn’t stick out. “Good luck catching that gnome,” Harry said cheekily before Disapparating. Muttering words that he wouldn’t dare repeat to his mother, Bill walked back to the Burrow.

“Well, I had to chase that little bas – bugger halfway across the property, but I got it,” Bill said, triumphantly dusting his hands. “I’m going to go wash up, and I just remembered I needed to ask Remus something, so I’ll be back.” As the twins waved good-bye dramatically, Bill dashed to the nearest bathroom to clean his face and hands, then walked to the Floo and fire-called Remus.

“Bill, what’s going on?” Remus asked, frowning in concern. After looking around to make sure no one was looking, Bill reached into his pocket and withdrew the letter.

“I ran into Harry a few minutes ago, and he told me to give you this,” he whispered, passing Remus the envelope through the flames.

“Harry? Is he okay?” Remus asked, taking the letter. Bill shrugged.

“He seemed fine, or as fine as he can be,” Bill said. “I might as well ask this while I’m here,” he muttered. “So Remus,” he said in a normal tone. “From one bloke to another, what should I do when Fleur gets pregnant? Just for future reference?” Remus smiled knowingly.

“Just nod your head and say, ‘Yes, dear’, no matter how absurd the request,” Remus said in a slightly louder than necessary voice, before cutting off the connection. Bill sighed as he stood up and walked down to finish enjoying his mother’s cooking.

Remus stood up from the fireplace and looked at the letter in his hand, addressed to himself and Tonks in Harry’s messy scrawl. After calling his wife down, who had just begun showing her pregnancy, they opened the letter and read it together.

Dear Remus and Tonks,

You’re probably worrying about us, and I’m sorry for that, but things have been a bit hectic here. I can’t really say too much more about it, but I want to let you know that we’re fine, and hope that you are as well.

Cheers,


Harry
.

Below the letter was a postscript written in Hermione’s neat handwriting.

P.S. If you ever need sanctuary, you can find it at Number 12 Grimmauld Place

P.S.S. Destroy this letter after you read it.

Remus and Tonks were shocked, but were both relieved that they were okay. As they placed the letter on a plate and burned it, Remus held Tonks close.

“We can go tomorrow night,” he told his wife. “I still need to wrap my mind around this.” Tonks merely grunted in agreement before snuggling next to her husband, watching the paper wither away.

--

Man, this chapter was difficult to write, particularly pretty much everything before Harry giving Bill the letter. I hope you liked it.

Don’t forget to read and review!

Chapter 8: Chapter 8
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Okay, I’m back with another chapter. And for those of you who are fans of Darknight (you know who you are), he will reappear in this chapter.

I own Darknight and the plot. Everything else belongs to J. K. Rowling…unfortunately.

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Voldemort growled menacingly as he gulped down the third headache potion the course of a few hours. His mental battle with the Potter brat had left him physically exhausted, and when he awoke, he had a headache so strong he could barely see straight. A soft knocking emanated from his door.

“What?!” he snapped. The door creaked open to show a young Death Eater whose name he couldn’t remember at the moment.

“I have information on Harry Potter, my lord,” the young servant said nervously. “I heard that Harry Potter is suspected to be a vampire, and was probably the one who killed Bellatrix Lestrange, something that the other members of her strike team could not say for certain. The Ministry has issued an arrest and/or elimination warrant for him.” The Death Eater gulped before adding, “this was two weeks ago.” Clutching his head, Voldemort beckoned the shaking Death Eater closer. When the man was halfway into the room, Voldemort whipped out his wand and cast a Cruciatus curse on the unfortunate servant, who writhed on the floor in anguish.

“Why did you not tell me this before?!” Voldemort roared, instantly regretting it as the pain in his skull intensified.

“I am sorry, my lord,” the Death Eater gasped. “I planned to tell you after the Mudblood’s execution, but you had fallen ill, and this was the first opportunity I had to speak to you.” Voldemort growled, but was too pained to do anything more, and waved the Death Eater away. So, Potter was a vampire now, eh? That would explain his greater than normal Occlumency shields; no wizard save Dumbledore could have resisted his mental attacks. A hunch gnawed in the back of the dark lord’s mind.

It was time to summon a recent acquaintance for a meeting.

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In a cave in some far distant land, where it was dark most of the year and the ground was covered by snow and ice for just as long, a cloaked figure watched as another one finished tying a string around a square package, shrinking it and placing it inside a pocket.

“Okay, that part’s done,” the second figure said, before turning to the first figure. “I don’t like Riddle any more than most people, but why did we need to turn the boy? What good can he do?” The first figure sighed tiredly.

“The boy was charged by fate to be the one to vanquish Tom Riddle. Unfortunately, his mentor failed to give him the necessary tools to accomplish such a task. Our curse is not one I would bestow upon anyone lightly, but I felt it was necessary at the time.” The second figure raised his eyebrow.

“And now?” he inquired.

“And now, although it pains me greatly, I feel that it is still necessary.” A soft vibrating coming from the pocket of the second figure interrupted their conversation. The figure pulled out a small pendant cast in the shape of a serpent, vibrating and glowing red.

“I am sorry, but I must leave,” the second figure said before Disapparating with a crack.

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“So basically, we tried to do the task that Dumbledore told us to do, but we got jumped by a vampire. I chased it off, but not before it bit you, I panicked and turned you. Is that correct?” Harry asked, pacing nervously.

“Yes, Harry,” Hermione said. They had no doubt that Remus and Tonks would inquire as to why Hermione was a vampire, and spent the day fabricating and rehearsing a cover story. After all, they didn’t need to know that Harry was the one who turned her. They both glanced anxiously at the clock, which read 7:42. Ten minutes later, they heard a rapid knock coming from the front door. Harry walked over and was about to open it when he realized that there was a small possibility that it wasn’t them.

“What did my boggart turn into back in third year?” Harry asked through the door.

“It was a dementor, because of the memories of your parents’ deaths that they brought out,” a muffled voice said from the other side. “What did I give you when we first met?”

“A piece of chocolate. You had to assure me that it wasn’t poisoned before I would eat it,” Harry said, opening the door, showing a tired-looking Remus Lupin and green-haired Nymphadora Tonks. Harry noticed that she seemed larger than the last time they met. Harry stepped aside to let them in before closing and locking the door. For a moment, the four people just stood in place, staring at each other awkwardly, before Remus slowly extended his hand. Harry carefully took it, and Remus pulled the younger man into a hug.

“Thank Merlin you’re okay, Harry,” Remus whispered, tears falling from his eyes. Seeing that the relationship between the two men was still intact, Hermione and Tonks hugged each other, but Tonks tensed at Hermione’s touch.

“You’re a lot colder than I remember, Hermione,” the older woman said, rubbing her arms to warm them up. Hermione laughed awkwardly, rubbing her neck where the bite scars were.

“Yeah, we ran into some...complications,” she said evasively. Tonks grunted in discomfort as she straightened her back, and Hermione squealed in delight when she saw Tonks’ swollen belly. The two men instinctively whipped their wands out to their position, but saw Hermione pulling Tonks into another hug.

“What was that about?” Harry asked, sheathing his wand.

“She’s pregnant, Harry!” Hermione said excitedly. Harry looked at Tonks closely, and saw that her belly was larger than normal, but he thought it was just his imagination.

“Congratulations, old man,” Harry said, clapping Remus on the shoulder. “It is yours, right?” he added.

“Of course it’s his,” Tonks said, grabbing Remus by the hand and pulling towards her. “I swear, the man makes lo—” she began, but was interrupted by Harry and Hermione.

“Too much information!” they shouted simultaneously.

“So, how’s the rest of the world been since we’ve been gone?” Harry asked as they sat down and Hermione brought them water. Immediately, Remus and Tonks’ smiles faded.

“Not good, Harry,” Remus said. “Scrimgeour was killed and replaced with one of Voldemort’s puppets. Now, all Muggleborns must register at the Ministry of Magic, with Umbridge at the helm.” Hermione looked ready to explode, but Harry held her hand, and her anger simmered down. “Voldemort has also taken over Hogwarts, with Snape acting as Headmaster.” Harry and Hermione shared a knowing glance with each other. Remus looked between the two vampires.

“Is there something I should know about?” Remus asked.

“Well, Snape won’t be running Hogwarts, because...well, come with us,” Hermione said, beckoning the others to follow her. When they reached the room that Snape and Malfoy were being kept in, she opened the door. Dobby heard the door open and turned his head to them.

“Greetings, miss – AAAAAHHHH!!” the house elf screamed as he saw the two vampires standing in the doorway.

“Dobby, it’s okay, it’s us,” Hermione assured the frightened house elf. A few more words of comfort, and Dobby calmed himself down enough to continue guarding the two prisoners. Harry glanced to Remus to see a murderous look on his face.

“If I put you two in the same room, will you promise me you won’t kill him?” Harry asked. “We haven’t interrogated him yet, and it wouldn’t do for you to kill him before we get all we can from him.” Remus took a few deep, calming breaths, and nodded. Harry turned to Dobby. “Dobby, can you move Malfoy to a separate room for a while, please?” Nodding, the house elf snapped his fingers, and he and Malfoy vanished into thin air. As he, Hermione and Tonks left the room, Harry turned to Remus. “Remember, we need him alive. Have fun,” he said before closing the door. Remus cast a locking charm on the door and revived Snape. The greasy man seemed disoriented for a moment, but quickly got his bearings, and glared hatefully at Remus.

“Lupin,” Snape spat. Remus flashed an uncharacteristically malicious smirk as he approached him.

“I’ve been waiting a long time for this, Snivellus...” Remus growled, cracking his knuckles threateningly.

While Remus “talked” to Snape, the other three walked back down to the common room of Grimmauld Place.

“So, has anything good happened?” Harry asked as they sat back down.

“Actually, yeah,” Tonks said thoughtfully. “The other day, we found a bunch of Voldemort’s prisoners standing out in a field. One of them was one of our new guys, Charity Burbage.” Hermione gave a gasp of shock.

“Professor Burbage? The Muggle Studies professor?” she gasped, nearly in tears. Tonks simply nodded.

“She disappeared a few weeks ago,” Tonks continued. “After we calmed her down, she said that she was about to be executed, by Snape of all people,” Tonks said, spitting at Snape’s name. “But right before he could do the deed, Voldemort suddenly started acting strange, and sent her back to her cell. A couple weeks later, the Death Eaters just let her and all the other prisoners free without explanation.”

Before she could continue, they heard a rhythmic thumping on the window. Harry walked over to the window and opened the curtains to see a bat repeatedly banging against the window, holding a large package awkwardly in its mouth. Harry opened the window, and the bat came tumbling into the house, finally crashing onto the table. Hermione and Tonks inspected the downed bat while Harry grabbed the package.

“It’s fine Harry, just a little dizzy from hitting itself,” Hermione said. Nodding in understanding, Harry untied the string and ripped the paper off of the package to reveal a simple wood box with a letter on top. Setting aside the letter, he opened the box to reveal a small tiara, elaborately designed and covered with small blue sapphires. Hermione looked into the box and gasped. “Harry, that’s...that’s Ravenclaw’s diadem!”

------

In the main meeting chamber of Riddle Manor, Voldemort was tapping his foot impatiently, waiting for his acquaintance to appear, and he did not like to wait. The dark lord heard several high-pitched screeches coming from the shadows, and a pale form dressed in black robes walked into the pale moonlight, giving him an almost ethereal glow.

“So, Darknight, you have finally saw fit to appear,” Voldemort snarled. Darknight flashed Voldemort a patronizing smile.

“I would have appeared sooner, Lord Voldemort, but unfortunately, I had other things to attend to. Contrary to popular belief, we vampires do have lives, you know.” Voldemort’s hand instinctively twitched towards his wand. Normally he would punish people with such flippancy, but he found out during their first meeting that vampires were immune to his favorite method of torture, as well as his favorite curse of all time, the killing curse.

“I have heard from my sources that my nemesis, Harry Potter has been turned into a vampire,” Voldemort growled. “I demand to know who was responsible for it.” Darknight simply shrugged innocently.

“This is news to me,” the vampire lied smoothly. “I am but one vampire among thousands, and not even the highest level one. Surely you cannot expect me to take account of everyone’s actions,” he continued. Darknight’s casualness only served to infuriate Voldemort even more.

“Then if you will not tell me that, then I demand that you give me an answer about our alliance!” he yelled.

“Your proposal is interesting, but my master needs more time to consider it,” Darknight said simply. “After all, my master has only my people’s best interests at heart. I am afraid that you will have to wait a while longer.”

“Eight years I have waited!” Voldemort roared. “I demand an answer! Avada Kedavra!” In his anger, Voldemort instinctively cast the killing curse at Darknight, which impacted him with no effect.

“We are immortal, Lord Voldemort, as are you,” Darknight said, continuing as if he had never been shot. Although not for much longer, he added mentally, “and Britain will not disappear tomorrow. So I ask you, what is your hurry? I will return when you’re not in such a grouchy mood,” he continued. Accessing one of the few magical skills he gained as a vampire, Darknight dissolved his body into a swarm of bats, which flew away into the night through the open windows. With no one to torture, Voldemort could only scream in rage.

Lord Voldemort was in a very bad mood.

----

All right, that’s chapter eight for you. I hope you enjoyed it.

Harry and Hermione getting the diadem through the post may seem kind of too easy, but I didn't know how the diadem was discovered when I wrote this. But it seems apparent that Darknight has been looking for them too, since he seems to want Voldemort dead as much as everybody else does.

Don’t forget to read and review!

Chapter 9: Chapter 9
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

When I first wrote this chapter, I didn't know how they got Ravenclaw's diadem, so I made up my own.

For those who have been wondering when I'm going to show Ron and Ginny's reactions to Harry being a vampire, you'll get part of your answer here. And be warned, I'm back to my usual Ginny-hating self.

I don't own Harry Potter. Never have and never will.
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“What?” Harry asked dumbly as he looked at the silver tiara glittering innocently from within its box. Hermione rolled her eyes and sighed in exasperation.

 “Honestly, Harry, one of these days, can you at least try to read Hogwarts, A History?” she asked testily.

“Why can I when I have you around?” Harry replied, shrugging innocently. Hermione rolled her eyes again before Apparating away. Harry looked up to see Tonks standing awkwardly.

“I'll…just go check on Remus,” she said, walking past him and climbing up the stairs. Seconds later, Hermione popped back to her place beside Harry, a heavy book in her arms. She set the book onto the table with a bang, making the still mostly stunned messenger bat twitch reflexively. Hermione opened the book to show an entry with a moving portrait of Rowena Ravenclaw. Hermione pointed to Ravenclaw's forehead, and Harry peered down at the drawing, squinting until he saw a tiara perched on her head.

“Rowena Ravenclaw was descended from a royal family, and the diadem was given to her as a wedding gift from her mother,” Hermione explained. Whether she was reciting it from memory, or reading it from the text, Harry did not know, for he was too busy staring at the miniscule image of Ravenclaw. “When Rowena was older, she enchanted the diadem with all her knowledge, so that anyone who wore it would be granted all her wisdom until it was removed from their heads. It says here that it was stolen, but it doesn't say why or by whom,” she continued, frowning. Harry reached into the box and pulled out the diadem, and immediately felt a chill run down his spine.

“Yup, it's a horcrux, alright,” Harry said, looking at the large sapphire in the center. “Maybe I should put this away,” he added.

“Put what away?” a voice behind them asked. Harry and Hermione both jumped and spun around to see Tonks holding a small jar and Remus, who was nursing a bruised knuckle looking at them in confusion.

“Nothing,” Harry said quickly, hiding the diadem behind his back. Remus glared at the two vampires, smiling innocently.

“You know, your father used to say `nothing' in that tone whenever he was planning something,” Remus said dryly as Tonks rubbed held his wounded knuckle with one hand and gently rubbed some sort of ointment with the other, the jar floating in mid-air. “So, if it's `nothing,' as you call it, then what are you hiding behind your back?” he continued, wincing in discomfort.

“Who said we were hiding anything?” Hermione asked, smiling nervously.

“How did your conversation with Snape go?” Harry asked quickly and loudly, hoping to change the subject before they dug themselves any deeper. Remus glared at Harry suspiciously for changing the subject, but decided to let it drop for now.

“As well as one could expect,” Remus said with a shrug. “Snape demanded where he was, I swung a few punches. He made some anti-werewolf comments, I swung some more punches. Then he started screaming that he killed Dumbledore on his own orders. Of course, I didn't believe him, so I kept swinging. Eventually, my hand got sore, so I stopped.”

“And we don't know if he was telling the truth because somebody refused to use veritaserum,” Tonks scolded as she capped the jar of ointment and conjured some bandages to wrap around Remus' well-lubricated hand.

“I have over twenty years of anger for that man, veritaserum wasn't going to cut it,” Remus said, shrugging innocently. Harry raised his eyebrows in surprise.

“I didn't take you for a violent person, Remus,” he said, slowly dropping the diadem back into its box and covering it.

“A lot of people from my school days think I was the most docile of the Marauders, that nothing could affect me,” Remus said casually. “The truth was, the insults that the Slytherins and especially Snape threw out cut me just as deeply as James or Sirius, I just kept my temper in check better than they did.” As Remus and Tonks stood up and walked back upstairs, the werewolf looked back. “You know, if what you're hiding has to do with whatever Dumbledore had you do last year, you could have just said so,” he said, leaving two embarrassed vampires in his wake.

“I am going to take this to the Chamber,” Harry said, holding up the diadem and disappearing with a crack. He reappeared seconds later, his hands empty. “I feel like having a talk with Snape myself, actually,” Harry continued, mostly to himself as he walked upstairs, Hermione following him. Before they entered the room that Snape was being held in, they went into the potions room and grabbed a bottle of veritaserum.

“I thought I'd at least give him a choice,” Harry said as he grabbed the vial of water-like elixir. Together, they walked into Snape's prison and turned on the lights, revealing that the potion master's face was now bruised and bloody. Harry also noticed that Hermione seemed to have a slightly dazed look on her face. He nudged her softly, and she shook her head to bring herself back into reality.

“How's your stay been so far, Snape?” Harry asked as he transfigured two pillows into chairs and sat down on one. Hermione, curiosity getting the best of her, wiped a finger across Snape's bloody brow and licked her finger, shuddering at the memory of him being hung upside-down during fifth year merging itself with her own memories.

“How do you think I've been, Potter?” Snape spat at Harry before coughing violently.

“You look like you've seen better days,” Harry said, shrugging. “But a murderer like you deserves no less.” Snape scoffed at Harry's comment.

“That's rather hypocritical for you to say, vampire,” he sneered, although his split lip couldn't curl nearly as much as it could when he was well. Harry began to respond, but was interrupted by Hermione. 

“That's where you're wrong,” she said, displaying an amazing level of hatred for her former potions teacher. “We vampires kill to survive, you and your Death Eater buddies kill for pleasure.” Both Snape and Harry were shocked at Hermione's display; she had never stood up to a figure of authority before.

“I don't know how things work under Voldemort's employment,” Harry said, regaining control of the conversation, “but we good guys like to at least give our prisoners a chance before we off them, so you have two options: the slow way or the quick way. The slow way, we feed you with veritaserum every few days until we get all the information we need, after which we either ship you to the proper authorities or we kill you. And the quick way, we both bite you now and drain you of your blood, and you die a slow and painful death. It's your choice, but choose quick; we're both a bit peckish.” Snape gulped nervously, for once feeling genuine fear for his life, for he didn't have to be a Legilimens to know that Harry would no doubt carry out his threat.

“Actually, Harry, there's a third option,” Hermione suggested before turning to Snape. “You take a Wizard's Oath, swear on your life and magic that you will tell us the truth and only the truth. Is that satisfactory?” Truth be told, what would truly satisfy Snape would be to be released, but seeing that that was unlikely to happen, he bowed his head.

“I swear on my life and my magic, that when you ask of me, I will respond with only the truth,” he chanted, and a soft white light enveloped him for a moment, confirming the Oath.

“Where is Voldemort?” Harry asked immediately.

“He is at Riddle Manor, I believe,” Snape replied tonelessly. “He has placed various wards around the property so that it is all but inaccessible, except that he does not trust another enough to cast a Fidelius on the property.” Harry and Hermione shared a glance. Without a Fidelius in place, it was likely that they could walk straight through the wards with nothing to stop them.

“What sort of defenses are there?” Hermione asked. 

“There are Death Eaters wandering the mansion and its grounds, but the Dark Lord is confident that his wards will weed out any trespassers, and did not feel the need to lay down any traps or obstacles,” Snape answered dully.

“Anything else interesting going on lately?” Harry asked vaguely.

“Yes,” Snape responded. “For some time, the Dark Lord has been negotiating an alliance between himself and the vampires.” Harry and Hermione looked at each other in surprise. “I do not know the extent of these meetings, for they always take place in private, but I do know that they do not seem to be going well for the Dark Lord, for he seems increasingly agitated with each meeting.” Harry thought about this new information. He probably tried to bargain with the vampires as another attempt to gain immortality, but they seemed to be stonewalling him for some reason. He decided to think about it later and continued with the interrogation.

“Why did you kill Albus Dumbledore?” Harry asked.

“My reasons are twofold,” Snape replied darkly. “Narcissa Malfoy made me take an Unbreakable Vow to assassinate Dumbledore should Draco fail. When I told him of this, he said to follow through with it, for he felt that my life was far more valuable than his.” 

"And the second?" Harry asked through clenched teeth.

"Dumbledore knew that he would die soon," Snape said. "His injured hand had weakened him considerably, and the poison that he drank in the cave would surely kill him, slowly. I killed him out of mercy, Potter, not that you would know anything about that," he sneered.

“I know mercy; you just don't deserve it,” Harry muttered so Snape wouldn't hear him. “Fine, you'll get to live for now. We'll continue this discussion later.” Harry and Hermione stood up and walked out of the room, leaving Snape alone with his thoughts.

------

Bill Weasley was getting worried about his two youngest siblings. Ever since they had discovered that Harry was a vampire, they had taken to locking themselves in their rooms, leaving only to eat and go to the bathroom, and rarely spoke during those times. The fact that Hermione was nowhere to be found only made things worse. He walked past Ginny's room and heard soft sobbing behind the door.

“Ginny?” Bill asked as he knocked on the door. “It's Bill. Can I come in?” Bill heard a soft sliding click to signify that the door was unlocked, and he opened the door to see Ginny sitting on her bed, her arms around her knees. “Are you alright?” Bill asked as he sat down next to her, rubbing her back. She shook her head, tears falling down her face.

“It's not fair,” she sobbed. “It wasn't supposed to be like this. Harry was supposed to come back and ask me to be his girlfriend again.” Bill frowned as Ginny continued. “He was supposed to defeat Voldemort, then he and I would get married, and Ron and Hermione. We were supposed to have a family together, and it supposed to be happily ever after. But now he's a monster, my dream is gone forever.” Bill stood up and glared at his sister in anger.

“Harry is not a monster,” Bill snapped. “He is still the young man that we've always known, and I for one can't believe that you would be so petty. Harry has the weight of the entire world on his shoulders, in addition to his affliction, and all you can think about is how you can't be his girlfriend anymore?!” Bill shook his head in disgust and disappointment. “I don't know what he was thinking when he decided to ask you out, but he deserves better than you, and I am ashamed to have a sister so petty and selfish.” Bill spun around and walked out, closing the door behind him.

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Harry and Hermione stared at golden locket sitting innocently on the table. They had decided that it would be best to destroy another Horcrux, and so they took Slytherin's locket into the same room that Harry had destroyed Hufflepuff's cup in and charmed the door to be unbreakable. They had also ordered Dobby that if they were rendered unconscious by the ordeal, to bring them a pig each when they stirred.

“You sure you want to do this?” Harry asked as he held up a large metal hammer. “I mean, we don't know what'll happen with two people in the room.” Hermione rolled her eyes as she set down a hammer of her own.

“Yes, I'm sure, Harry,” she said exasperatedly. “The last time you did this alone, this happened,” she said, pointing to her neck where her bite scar was. “I'm not going to allow you to run that risk with Remus or Tonks, so I'm going to watch your pasty arse while you smash the Horcrux.”

“Hey!” Harry yelled, feigning offense. “My arse is not pasty!” Hermione laughed as she picked her hammer back up.

“You keep telling yourself that, Potter,” she said sarcastically. Rolling his eyes, Harry bent down so he was close to the locket and could the see the ornate serpent on the face clearly.

Open,” Harry hissed in Parseltongue. Harry backed away as the locket clicked open and Voldemort's soul fragment drifted out in a black cloud. Harry and Hermione drew their wands, holding their hammers in their other hands. The cloud hovered over the locket, drifting left and right, like it was looking at them, before it rushed forward and into Hermione, quicker than either of them could react. Hermione's grip on her hammer loosened, and it fell to the floor with a clunk. She shook her head and looked around in confusion.

“What happened?” she asked. Harry stepped forward, his grip tightening around his wand.

“Hermione, are you okay?” he asked carefully, holding out his hand. Hermione looked at him and smiled sweetly.

“I'm just fine, Harry...” she trailed off ominously before raising her wand and blasting Harry across the room. “YOU BASTARD!” she screamed as Harry dodged another curse. “You ruined me!” Hermione continued to scream as she shot curse after curse at Harry, who was barely managing to dodge them. “You took everything from me! My career, my family, my future! I hate you!” Harry dove to avoid an explosive curse, instead blowing a sizable crater into the wall behind him. Harry got back onto his feet and dashed towards Hermione, tackling her to the ground. Harry wrenched Hermione's wand out of her hand as she struggled underneath him. She managed to wriggle one of her legs between his and brought it into his groin as hard as she could. Harry bit back a scream as he discovered that Undeath did not eliminate that particular weakness, and rolled off of Hermione, instinctively curling into a fetal position.

As Harry clutched himself in pain, Hermione grabbed her wand and conjured a silver dagger, which she wielded menacingly. She got onto her knees and, wrapping one hand around Harry's throat, raised the dagger above her. Harry struggled against her grip and caught her hand as she brought the dagger down, the point hovering above his heart. He threw the dagger across the room and shoved her off, crawling up to the table. Harry grabbed a hammer and was poised to bring it down on the locket when he was pulled back down onto the floor. Hermione conjured another dagger and raised it up when Harry kicked her in the face, forcing her away from him.

Pulling himself back up, he grabbed the hammer and swiftly brought it down on the locket. Hermione screamed in pain and writhed on the floor as the soul fragment possessing her became damaged. Trying to tune out her anguished screams, Harry brought the hammer down against the locket again, and black smoke began to trickle out of Hermione's mouth and nostrils. Harry brought the hammer down again and again, until the two halves of the locket snapped at the hinge. The cloud that had gathered above Hermione's now still body gave one final unearthly shriek before exploding, sending Harry tumbling over the table.

Harry felt his strength slipping quickly. Groaning in pain, he dragged himself across the room to Hermione's side. He reached his hand out and slipped it into hers before his world went dark once more.
----

Four Horcruxes down, two more to go!

Don't forget to read and review!

Chapter 10: Chapter Ten
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

I don’t own Harry Potter. That privilege belongs to J. K. Rowling. I do own any OC’s that pop up though.

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Harry groaned in discomfort. The last thing he remembered, he was getting his ass handed to him by a Riddle-possessed Hermione, then destroying the Horcrux, and finally being at the epicenter of yet another explosion. Wait a minute... Harry opened his eyes to see himself in an unfamiliar room, torturing a Death Eater. His gaze flickered downwards, and he saw a pale, bony hand that was not his own holding a familiar yew wand. Ah, damn it. I’m in Voldemort’s head again. Sighing in defeat, Harry decided to “sit back” and wait for the show to end.

The dark lord Voldemort was most unpleased. He was no closer to locating Harry Potter, his alliance with the vampires was going nowhere, and to top it all off, the vampires found it amusing to feed on several of his junior Death Eaters. With no one else around to torture, Voldemort decided to cast his Cruciatus on the messenger before him. He had held the curse for almost fifteen minutes when he felt a familiar presence tickling the back of his mind. He released the curse and sent away his minion, before retreating to his quarters and locking the door.

“So Harry, you’ve decided to walk into my mind uninvited once again, have you?” Voldemort asked the empty room.

Something like that, Harry responded neutrally. It was so comfortable in here that I couldn’t resist coming back. You might want to put some furniture in here, though, I can hear myself echoing in here. You might want to hire a maid too; this place is filthy! Voldemort scowled angrily as Harry insulted his intelligence.

“I know what you are, Potter, so I won’t make the mistake of trying to attack you mentally like last time, and I know that you do not have the strength to attack me head-on and succeed,” Voldemort said triumphantly.

Yeah, unfortunately, Harry “sighed” mentally. Suddenly, the young vampire was struck with an idea. However, I can make your life living hell for two weeks, he continued smugly. This caught Voldemort off guard.

“What do you mean?” the snake-like man asked, genuinely confused.

You’ll find out, Harry informed him cryptically. Ten million bottles of beer on the wall, ten million bottles of beer, he began singing tunelessly, take one down, pass it around, ten million bottles of beer on the wall.

“What are you doing?” Voldemort asked dryly. Harry didn’t respond, instead continuing to sing that inane song...and sing...and sing. For days, Harry sung without end: during meals, during meetings, during trips to the loo. Voldemort eventually had to barricade himself within his quarters again and have his meals brought to him via house elf. He could not even sleep because of Harry’s continual singing. After a week of absolutely no peace, Voldemort finally snapped.

“What do I need to do to stop that infernal singing?!” Voldemort shouted angrily. The lack of sleep was taking its toll on him, as large dark circles were developing under his eyes, and growing larger by the day.

Well, if you could be so kind as to kill your pet snake, and maybe yourself as well, that’d be great, Harry said, stopping his singing for the first time all week. Voldemort gritted his teeth at Harry’s ridiculous demands. There was no way that he would agree to that!

“You must be out of your mind if you think I would ever agree to those demands, Potter,” Voldemort spat angrily.

Maybe, Harry agreed mentally. But I’m stuck in here for another week, and if I’m lucky, I’ll drag you down into insanity with me. Now where was I? Oh yeah, seven-thousand-twenty-four bottles of beer on the wall... Harry resumed singing. Voldemort’s roar of rage would send a chill down the spines of all Death Eaters who heard it.

After two weeks of singing practically nonstop, Harry felt himself drifting out of Voldemort’s body and back into his own. But when he opened his eyes again, he remembered that his hunger had taken over his body, and he was merely a powerless observer. With an animalistic growl, Harry’s body sat up and looked around the room. Looking to his left, Harry’s eyes fell on Hermione, who was similarly scanning the room. With a feral snarl, the two vampires pounced at each other, viciously biting and scratching at each other in an attempt to satiate their hunger.

Dobby sighed quietly to himself. Even though he was technically employed at Hogwarts, in his mind, his master was Harry Potter, the wizard who freed him from the Malfoys. He was ordered to watch Harry Potter and his friend, but there were other guests that needed to be attended to. As Dobby brought sandwiches and tea to Remus and Tonks, a loud snarling was heard from upstairs, followed by several crashes. Dobby quickly set the tray of food down on Remus’ lap before disappearing with a crack, unaware that the werewolf and metamorphagus that he had just served were rushing up the stairs themselves.

When Dobby appeared in the master bedroom, he saw the two vampires wrestling violently with each other, swiping and snapping at each other, smashing furniture as they threw each other across the room. Remembering his orders, Dobby sealed the door shut so that they could not escape and harm anyone else before Disapparating to a Muggle farm, where he grabbed two large pigs and popped back to 12 Grimmauld Place. After depositing his payload, the house elf left the room before the vampires decided to turn their attentions to him.

Hermione had managed to pin Harry down on the floor and was bending down to plunge her fangs into his throat when a crack attracted their attention. They both looked to the direction of the sound to see a pair of large pigs, sniffing around confusedly. Their feud with each other quickly forgotten, the two vampires lunged forward and buried their fangs into the necks of the pigs, ignorant of the animals’ squeals of pain. The vampires sighed contently as the viscous, sweet liquid pumped out of the pigs’ arteries and slid smoothly down their throats. As they fed, their bestial instincts diminished and they found themselves able to control themselves once more.

His hunger abated for now, Harry threw the pig carcass aside and leaned back, sighing tiredly. He looked to his side to see Hermione wrapping her arms around her knees, pig blood smeared on her face, staring vacantly at the wall. Harry wordlessly crawled over to her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, holding her close. For hours, they simply sat together, neither saying a word.

“Sorry about kicking you in the face,” Harry said softly, the dried blood on his face cracking from the movement. Hermione chuckled softly.

“Sorry about kicking you in the crotch,” she replied.

“You better be sorry, it really hurt,” Harry admonished lightly. “Come on, we’d better get cleaned up,” he continued, pulling himself and Hermione up from the floor. Harry walked to the door and tried to turn the knob, but it wouldn’t turn. He rattled the doorknob briefly, but it still wouldn’t budge. Sighing, the two vampires decided to worry about the door later and simply Apparated out of the room, startling the two people that were sitting down in front of the door.

“What happened in there?” Remus asked as he stood up, helping his struggling wife to her feet.

“We had a...scuffle,” Harry said evasively. Remus looked at the blood staining Harry’s face and shirt with a raised eyebrow, then at Hermione. Waving his wand to wash away the blood, Harry handed them back their wands.

“As long as you two are okay,” Remus said. “We tried getting in earlier, but I think Dobby locked the door, because our unlocking spells didn’t work,” he continued, gesturing at the sealed door.

“So that’s why we couldn’t get out,” Harry said, glaring at the offending door.

“I’m going to go clean up the mess,” Hermione said, Apparating back into the bedroom.

“And I am going to go have a few words with Albus,” Harry added darkly as he walked away, leaving Remus and Tonks alone.

“And I have to go to the loo,” Tonks said awkwardly, walking around her husband to find a bathroom, leaving Remus alone in the hallway.

Harry walked into the empty office where he stored the photo of Albus Dumbledore and pulled it out of the drawer where it was hidden.

“Okay, I give up, how was I supposed to destroy the Horcruxes?” Harry asked crossly, sitting down in a chair and crossing his arms. “And I just woke up from a coma, so you better give me straight answers, Albus,” he continued. The photo of Dumbledore sighed at Harry’s impatience.

“Harry, there are some things that you must discover for yourself,” he said cryptically. This seemed to be the wrong thing to say as Harry stood up and threw his chair into a wall with a crash.

“Enough with the riddles, Dumbledore!” Harry shouted, lapsing into calling his former headmaster by his surname again. “I got all three of the Founders’ items in a couple of days, one of which was by post, mind you, and yet I spent most of the past month and a half in a coma because I don’t seem to be destroying them the way I’m supposed to. And in that month, people are still dying out there, so I ask again, how was I supposed to destroy them?” he fumed, his infamous temper rising to the surface again. Dumbledore did not answer, nor did he maintain eye contact with Harry. “Is it Gryffindor’s sword?” Harry asked. Dumbledore’s silence all but confirmed the answer for Harry. “Any reason why you didn’t bring this up when I grabbed your photo?” he asked in a forced calm.

“You didn’t ask,” Dumbledore said simply, still avoiding Harry’s gaze. Harry raised his hands above his head in frustration.

“‘I didn’t ask,’” Harry repeated in exasperation. “Damn it, Dumbledore, for something this important, I shouldn’t have to ask!” Sighing irritably, Harry looked at the time on his watch. “Four twenty-five,” he muttered to himself. “I’ll be back,” he told Dumbledore before Disapparating from the room.

Harry found himself back in the Hogwarts Headmaster’s office, but it was different from when he was last there. The room seemed so much larger now that all of Dumbledore’s various contraptions had been disposed of, leaving a decidedly bare room. Harry looked up at the shelves above him and saw the case that held the sword of Godric Gryffindor. He also saw that the case was empty. Growling in frustration, Harry Apparated back to the office in 12 Grimmauld Place where the Dumbledore’s photo was awaiting him.

“Where is the sword?” Harry asked through clenched teeth.

“I don’t know,” Dumbledore said honestly, finally making eye contact with Harry. Harry narrowed his eyes at the small photo suspiciously.

“But you know who does,” Harry stated evenly. When Dumbledore did not answer, Harry sighed tiredly. “I think I know who it is too,” he said dully before placing the photo back in its drawer and leaving the room. He walked back to the still closed door to the master bedroom and knocked on the door. “How’s the cleaning going?” Harry asked through the door.

“Almost done,” Hermione’s muffled voice replied from the other side of the door. Several seconds later, the door swung open to show Hermione and a newly cleaned room. “I asked Dobby to unlock it,” she said, answering Harry’s unanswered question. “What do you want?”

“Apparently, I was supposed to grab the sword of Gryffindor and use that to destroy the Horcruxes, but Dumbledore neglected to inform me,” Harry said sourly, crossing his arms.

“Back on a last name basis?” Hermione asked, raising an eyebrow at him.

“I’m not very happy with him right now,” Harry grumbled. “When I popped over to Hogwarts, the sword wasn’t there, so I asked Dumbledore where it was. He said he didn’t know, but he seemed to know who does. Considering the amount of faith that he seems to place in that man, I’m thinking that that ‘someone’ is Snape. Is the Wizard’s Oath you made him take a couple of weeks ago still in effect?” Harry asked.

“Yeah, it should be,” Hermione confirmed. “Why, are you planning for another interrogation?”

“Yup,” Harry said simply before stepping out of the doorway, allowing Hermione to exit before they both Apparated into the room where Snape was being held. Apparently, Dobby had allowed a few basic luxuries, such as a bedpan, and the ability to be able to move, as the former Slytherin head of house was no longer bound to a chair.

“Come to interrogate me again, Potter?” Snape sneered.

“Yep,” Harry said as he and Hermione transfigured pillows into chairs again. “You see, we’re in need of a certain sword, and we have reason to believe that you know where it is. Care to tell us?”

“Where’s Draco?” Snape asked, ignoring Harry’s question.

Draco is in a separate room. Now answer the damn question,” Harry said firmly. Snape simply snorted and crossed his arms defiantly.

“I won’t answer your questions unless I am allowed to see Draco,” the greasy man said with a tone of finality. Sighing in frustration, Harry stood up and walked to the far end of the room, Hermione behind him.

“I thought the Oath was supposed to make him tell the truth,” Harry whispered.

“It does,” Hermione whispered in response, “but it doesn’t stop him from refusing to answer us. Harry, I know how much you hate the two, but what he’s asking for isn’t much. It would probably be easier on all of us if you just complied with his demand,” she suggested softly. Sighing in defeat, Harry nodded his head minutely.

“Dobby,” Harry said, summoning the small house elf.

“Master Harry Potter Sir calls for Dobby?” he said excitedly. Rolling his eyes at being called “master,” Harry looked down at the house elf.

“Dobby, could you bring Draco Malfoy in here with us, please?” Harry asked with a sour look on his face. Dobby’s ears drooped, and he nodded reluctantly. Without a word, Dobby disappeared, only to reappear seconds later with a protesting Draco Malfoy in tow.

“...Get off of me, you filthy vermin!” Malfoy yelled at Dobby. Then the blonde-haired former Slytherin looked around in confusion. When he laid his eyes on Harry and Hermione, he let out a high-pitched scream. “Vampires!” he shrieked, running towards the door and rattled the doorknob in vain trying to escape.

“Okay, I’ve brought Malfoy here,” Harry said, ignoring Malfoy’s fearful whimpers as he continued his attempts to escape, “now tell me, where is Gryffindor’s sword?” Snape inhaled and exhaled deeply several times before uncrossing his arms and turning to face his former students.

“I can’t tell you exactly, but I can take you there,” he said simply. Harry considered what Snape had said for several moments before sighing and motioning for the older man to stand up.

“All right, let’s go,” he said, before asking Dobby to unlock the door. As soon as the enchantment had been lifted, Malfoy dashed towards the door, but Hermione grabbed him by the collar of his robes and pulled him back. After conjuring a pair of manacles and locking Snape’s hands behind his back, the three of them walked out of 12 Grimmauld Place, leaving Malfoy alone in the newly locked room.

Once Harry and Hermione had escorted Snape past the extent of the anti-apparation wards, Snape closed his eyes and concentrated on their destination. With a crack, the three of them disappeared from the streets of London and found themselves standing in front of a large lake in the middle of a forest, the smooth surface of the water reflecting the pale moonlight.

“There’s only a charm placed on the area to negate any bubble-head charms and a colony of grindylows guarding the sword,” Snape informed his captors without prompting.

“I’ll get it,” Hermione said automatically. When Harry opened his mouth to protest, she held up a hand to silence him. “You destroyed the last two Horcruxes, the least I can do is this,” Hermione said as she shrugged off her robe and kicked off her shoes. “Wish me luck,” she said as she waded into the chilly water. Once she had waded deep enough that the water level had reached her waist, she dove down into the depths.

Four minutes later, she still had not surfaced, and Harry was pacing nervously.

“Oh, will you sit down,” Snape snapped testily at Harry. “She’s a vampire Potter, she can’t drown.”

“Shut it Snivellus,” Harry spat, continually pacing back and forth until he had formed a shallow trench in the gravel. Almost a minute later, Hermione breached the surface, the glittering sword of Godric Gryffindor in hand.

“Sorry it took me so long,” Hermione gasped as she dragged herself onto shore, her wet clothes weighing her down. “I ran into a school of grindylows and had to fight them off without my wand. I’m fine,” she added flippantly when Harry opened his mouth to ask if she was alright. Setting the sword down and grabbing her wand out of her robe, Hermione cast a drying charm on herself before sitting down to put her shoes back on.

After Hermione had finished redressing herself, the three figures Apparated back to the street in front of 12 Grimmauld Place before walking in the front door and taking Snape back to his room.

“Wait, after taking you to the sword, I’m still stuck in that infernal room?” Snape asked incredulously as Harry and Hermione escorted him upstairs.

“Yes,” Harry replied shortly. “Despite that, you are still a prisoner, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.” After releasing Snape’s hands and throwing him back inside his room, Harry and Hermione walked back into the room where the cup and locket Horcruxes had been destroyed with their newly acquired sword. Setting the sword down onto the table, Harry Apparated to the Chamber of Secrets and returned with Ravenclaw’s diadem, the last of the material Horcruxes.

“Together?” Harry asked, holding out the sword to Hermione. After considering for a moment, Hermione wrapped her hand around Harry’s, and together they brought the blade tip down on the center jewel of the Horcrux. With a horrific screech that sounded like metal scraping against metal, the tip of the sword slowly penetrated the large sapphire adorning the diadem. As the Horcrux shuddered, Harry and Hermione gripped the sword with both hands to keep the sword steady. Soon, a wisp of green and black smoke started drifting out of the crystal, giving an unearthly scream before disappearing. After several minutes of trying to keep the sword in contact with the diadem, any magical resistance they were fighting disappeared, and their combined strength sent them sprawling onto the table and the sword and diadem flying into the wall. When it impacted, the diadem broke and fell to the ground in two equal pieces, the jewel split cleanly in half. And the best thing was there was no coma-inducing explosion accompanying it.

“We did it,” Hermione gasped, not really believing it. “We actually did it!” She reached over and pulled Harry into a hug. Sharing her excitement, Harry instinctively kissed Hermione on the cheek as she held him in her embrace.

“Only Nagini and Voldemort himself to go,” Harry whispered, not quite believing it himself. When Hermione pulled away, Harry looked at his watch. Six forty-five, it read; the sun would be rising soon. “Tomorrow night,” Harry whispered triumphantly. “Voldemort’s reign of terror ends tomorrow night.”

--

Whew! Eight pages! I think this is my longest chapter yet for this fic!

Only a couple more chapters until the end of Voldemort. I’ve got something else to throw at them afterwards, though, so this story will extend a bit longer than that.

Don’t forget to read and review!

Chapter 11: Chapter 11
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For those of you who have been wondering (I reckon just about everybody), Ron's reaction to Harry's vampirism will finally appear in this chapter.
 
I don't own Harry Potter, blah, blah, blah.
----

Ron Weasley had barely spoken in over a month. He also had lost much of his voracious appetite, a cause for concern from his family. The shock of his best friend's vampirism, and his concern for his other best friend had driven him into a state of shock, and then depression.

As he lay in his bed, staring blankly at the ceiling, a knocking pulled Ron out of his trance. He got up and opened the door to see Bill carrying a tray of food.

“Hey bro, I drew the short straw this time,” Bill said, nodding his head to the tray.

“Err, thanks, Bill,” Ron said, taking the tray and setting it aside. The eldest Weasley son sighed and sat down on his younger brother's bed.

“Everyone's getting worried about you, Ron. Mum especially; she thinks you're wasting away in here with as little as you're eating,” Bill said, chuckling slightly. “Are you thinking about Harry and Hermione?” Ron quietly nodded and dropped onto the bed, next to his brother.

“It's just…this wasn't how things were supposed to happen, you know?” Ron said, finally letting out his emotions. “I mean, none of this was supposed to happen. The three of us should be out camping in some forest in the middle of nowhere trying to defeat You-Know-Who. Instead, Harry's a vampire, Hermione is with him at who knows where, and here I am sitting in my room brooding, barely getting out except the occasional meal and to use the loo.” Ron broke down and began sobbing into his brother's shoulder. Bill comfortingly wrapped his arm around Ron's shoulders and patted his brother on the arm. A few minutes later, Ron straightened up and made a loud and disgusting snort to clear his sinuses.

“Feel better now?” Bill asked, raising his eyebrow at the disgusting action.

“Yeah,” Ron said, surprised. “Thanks, Bill, I really needed that.”

“No problem; what are brothers for?” Bill asked as he stood up and began walking out of the room. “Now eat up; you're just skin and bones now,” he added, pointing at the tray of food. Ron stuck his tongue out and made a rude gesture at Bill as the elder sibling walked out, laughing.

------

Harry sighed as he slid his wand into his pocket and tied Gryffindor's sword onto his belt. He knew for at least two years that this day would come eventually, that he would have to face Voldemort in combat, and ultimately, only one would emerge victorious. He felt the familiar chill of fear course down his spine as he thought about it. He also felt a question nagging in the back of his mind: What would happen if he were to emerge victorious? He would still be a vampire, an outcast to society, and the Ministry would probably order his death the moment that it had reestablished itself.

“It'll be okay,” a feminine voice said behind him. He turned around to see Hermione leaning in the doorway. “You'll beat him, and everything will work itself out,” she continued optimistically. Harry gave a pessimistic snort and put on his robes.

“If only it were so easy,” he muttered as he gave himself one final inspection in the mirror before turning back to her. “Are you ready?” he asked.

“Yeah,” she confirmed. “Soon it'll all be over,” she continued, moving aside.

“Finally,” Harry said simply as they walked down into the sitting room.

------

“I demand that you cease your stonewalling and give me what I seek now!” Voldemort roared, slamming his fist onto the armrest of his throne. Before him, Darknight stood, a bored expression on his face.

“You have your Horcruxes and one of the Deathly Hallows, I really don't see why you need this artifact as well,” the vampire said, inspecting his nails.

“Horcruxes can be destroyed and I have not defeated the last owner of the Elder Wand,” Voldemort growled through gritted teeth, “but with what you offer me, I can become truly immortal. Now, I have waited eight years for your `superiors' to decide whether they should give it to me or not, now hand it over!” he continued, working himself into a rage.

“Okay, okay,” Darknight said, trying to pacify the fuming Dark Lord. “My superiors decided to give it to you anyway,” he added, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small, ornate jewelry box. Voldemort snapped his fingers, and an anonymous Death Eater flunky carefully took the box from Darknight's hands, handling the box as if it were dangerously volatile. “Great, you have your prize, my people aren't going to be decimated, negotiations are over, good night, I never want to see this place again,” Darknight said quickly and then dissolved into a swarm of bats and exited through various open windows before Voldemort could muster a response. Voldemort chuckled darkly as the Death Eaters carefully carried the box out of the room. Potter will be in for an unpleasant surprise the next time we meet, he thought evilly.

In Little Hangleton Cemetery, beyond the patrols around Riddle Manor, Darknight reconstituted himself into his human form and struggled to keep himself from laughing out loud. Oh Riddle, you'll be in for an unpleasant surprise when you try that ritual, the vampire thought evilly as he drew a copy of the Daily Prophet and sat down on a headstone to read it.

------

Down in the sitting room of 12 Grimmauld Place, Hermione and Tonks were saying their goodbyes while Harry and Remus stood off to one corner, talking in hushed whispers.

“Harry, you know that I would fight and die for you,” Remus whispered as they stood away from the women.

“I know that Remus,” Harry replied, “but I can't let you do that; there have been enough casualties in this war.”

“You do know that I'll figure out some way to get out of here, don't you?” Remus asked, crossing his arms over his chest.

“I've thought of that, and I've ordered Dobby to not let either you or Tonks out of the house unless the house itself is collapsing around you,” Harry countered.

“So that's it then?” Remus asked sadly. “You're just going to lock me up like they did to Sirius?” A flicker of hurt briefly appeared on Harry's face, before the young vampire made his face unreadable.

“Like I said, Remus, there have been enough casualties in this war,” Harry repeated emotionlessly as he stepped around Remus and took Hermione by the hand. “Are you ready?” he whispered to her.

“Yeah,” she replied. Nodding in satisfaction, Harry turned to Remus and Tonks.

“See you in the morning,” Harry said before the two vampires Apparated, leaving the werewolf and pregnant Metamorphagus alone in the room.

------

Voldemort grinned triumphantly at the display before him. A large room in the center of Riddle Manor had been prepared according to an ancient ritual he had found before his first fall.

The text had demanded that a sacrifice of thirteen souls be paid to power a crystal guarded by the vampires, a crystal that would grant him immortality and limitless power. As the sacrifices moved into position, Voldemort unlatched the jewelry box and slowly lifted the lid, revealing a glittering emerald the size of his eye. Taking the crystal and gently placing it on a pedestal before waving his wand so that the ceiling disappeared, revealing the dark, starless sky hanging over them.

Voldemort began chanting in a dead, archaic language, muttering words that had not touched the ears of man for centuries. Soon the runes drawn on the floor began to glow, and the Death Eaters gave shuddering gasps as they felt the life slipping from their bodies. The air crackled with power as the energy coursed from the floor and onto the pedestal, creeping into the emerald, which had begun to glow brightly with power.

As the last words left the shell of a man's lips, the stone shone as bright as a new star. The moment the chanting had ended, a thin beam of light shot forth from the emerald and into the sky, like a great beacon. Voldemort laughed triumphantly; soon unimaginable power would be his!

Several seconds later, the beam flickered and vanished. Voldemort furrowed his brow in concern. He did not feel more powerful. In fact, he felt exactly the way he did when he started the ritual. A foul stench invaded his senses, and he looked down at the pedestal to see a shriveled, smoldering mound where the crystal once stood. Never before had Voldemort felt such hatred towards the vampires as he let out a scream of rage.

------

Harry and Hermione felt the squeezing sensation of Apparation, and then found themselves standing in the foggy, desolate graveyard in Little Hangleton. Harry suppressed a shudder as he remembered what had transpired in this area three years before.

“Oh good, I didn't have to wait too long; I was afraid it would take a week or two for you two to get here,” a voice said. They turned towards the direction of the sound to see Darknight sitting on a headstone, tossing aside the Daily Prophet in his hand. Harry's brow furrowed in concentration; this man's face and voice seemed familiar. Suddenly, it all clicked in his head, and Harry charged at Darknight, ramming him into a headstone.

“You son of a bitch!” Harry yelled, swinging his fist at Darknight's face. “You did this to me! You turned me into this!” Darknight managed to get his feet up in front of him and forcefully pushed Harry off of him.

“Yeah, I turned you, so what?” Darknight spat as he stood up, his bruises healing and his broken nose and teeth shifting back into place. “And you're hardly one to talk; less than two months, and you've already turned someone yourself,” he added, gesturing towards Hermione.

“Leave her out of this,” Harry snarled angrily.

“Hey, I'm just stating a fact here,” Darknight said, raising his hands defensively. “And just for your information, I didn't want to turn you; I did it under orders.”

“Whose orders?” Hermione asked, speaking for the first time since they had arrived.

“That's a secret,” Darknight said, smiling knowingly. Harry growled and drew his wand, pointing it at the other vampire's head.

“Tell us who ordered you to turn us. No more secrets; no more lies,” Harry spat, raising his wand until its tip was pointed between Darknight's eyes, “or I blow your head off.”

“Lies, Harry?” Darknight asked rhetorically. “You must have me confused with someone else, because I have never lied to you. Everything I put in that letter you read when you first turned is true. I sent you the diadem, and I said I wanted Voldemort dead as much as you do, and so I do. So tell me, Harry, when have I ever lied to you?”

“Wait, you sent the diadem?” Hermione asked incredulously, also leveling her wand to him. 

“Yes, I thought I'd spare you the trouble,” Darknight replied, not taking his eyes off of Harry. “And as for it being my fault that she's a vampire, okay, two can play at that game. I admit, it's my fault for turning you. But then you can blame the one who ordered me to turn you, or the one who turned me. But then you'd have to blame the one that turned him, and the one that turned him, and him, and him, and him, all the way up to the first vampire. Then you can blame her for going into that cave. You can blame her lover for dying. You can blame whoever brought them together for doing so.”

“Is there a point to all this?” Harry snapped impatiently.

“Yes,” Darknight said stiffly. “The point is, is that you can point fingers all you want, but in the end, you sunk your fangs into her throat, you drank her blood and you fed her your own in turn. You can scream and protest all you want, but at the end of the day, the fault is yours and yours alone.” With a crack, Darknight Disapparated, reappearing sitting on the large statue of the Angel of Death marking the graves of the Riddle family. “Now turn around, the light show's about to start.”

“What light show?” Harry asked. Darknight just pointed into the distance, and the two teenagers turned in time to see a green beam of light shoot up from a house over the hill and into the sky, illuminating the cemetery. “Wow…” he muttered, completely entranced by the display. Soon, the light faded away, and the cemetery grew dark again.

“What was that?” Hermione asked, shaking herself out of the stupor that staring at the light had caused.

“That,” Darknight said, jumping off of the statue, “was Voldemort losing thirteen of his Death Eaters.” Grinning smugly, the elder vampire turned to Harry. “How about a proposition: you kill Voldemort, and everything will be explained to you. Maybe not by me, but things will get explained. Do we have a deal?” Darknight asked, holding out a pale hand.

Harry did not accept right away. He considered the offer: an explanation for all that had happened in exchange for doing something that he had come here to do anyway. He shifted his gaze to Hermione, who shrugged slightly. Eventually, Harry grabbed Darknight's hand with his own and shook.

“Deal.”

“Great,” Darknight said, releasing his hold on Harry's hand. “Riddle Manor is that house over the hill, the big one,” Darknight said, pointing out the correct building. “I'd estimate that there are sixty or seventy Death Eaters in and around the property, and about nine hours until sunrise. I can call up a few associates of mine to help you clean out the grunts, but obviously, you have to take out the boss yourself.” Darknight paused to look at the house again, then looked down at his watch. “Give me ten minutes, and I can gather up a clean-up team for you two,” he said before Disapparating with a crack. Left alone in the cemetery, Hermione laid a hand on Harry's shoulder.

“We should get going, Harry,” Hermione said. “The manor looks at least half a mile away.”

“Yeah, we should,” he agreed, and they began running over the hill and towards the large manor.

Five minutes later, the two vampires had ducked behind a tree standing on the edge of the property line, carefully observing the three Death Eaters patrolling the area. Drawing their wands, Harry and Hermione fired silent stunners at the three guards. After tying them up and snapping their wands, they began searching for a way into the manor. Searching around the perimeter of the house, they found a dingy window sitting slightly higher than them.

“Here, let me give you a boost,” Harry said, grabbing Hermione by the waist and lifting her up. “Wow, you're a lot lighter than you look,” he said, surprised at how easily he had lifted her.

“Thanks…I guess,” Hermione muttered as she wiped the grime off of the window so that she could see through the glass. She peered through the window to see a room with several boxes stacked inside, most likely a storage room. “It's clear,” she said, leaning away from the window. “I'm going to Apparate us in,” she warned before they Apparated into the room, the crack echoing against the walls.

“It'll be three minutes until Darknight shows up,” Harry said, looking at his watch.

“Maybe it would be best if we waited here until then,” Hermione said, sitting down on a box. “After all, we don't know how he's going to attack, and it might be best to stay out of the way.”

“Right,” Harry said as he pulled out a box to sit on, but he stopped. “Actually, we should probably go back outside. For all we know, he could be planning to drop a bomb on this house.” Hermione scoffed at the ridiculous idea.

“Really, Harry, how could he possibly get a bomb big enough to destroy this place without getting caught by the military?” she asked, arms crossed in annoyance.

“He can do magic, I'm sure he'll figure something out,” Harry countered, crossing his own arms. “Do we really want to be here if that is what happens?” Hermione held firm for a moment, but quickly faltered.

“No,” she admitted, and they both Apparated back to the hill and sat down in silence, waiting for whatever Darknight would to clear the manor.

------

“Tell me again what you're doing?” a blonde female vampire asked as Darknight was on his knees shoving a crystal into the ground.

“I am creating a perimeter for an anti-portkey ward,” Darknight stated as he stood up and dusted the dirt off of his trousers, turning to face the nine vampires that had been standing behind him. “Voldemort probably has an emergency escape portkey on his person, and it wouldn't do for him to disappear before the killing blow can be dealt.”

“Okay, next question: why the hell are we even bothering with this; it's the Ministry's problem, why not let them figure it out?” the female vampire asked defiantly.

“Trust me, Alice, I feel your pain, and would love nothing more than to see the wizarding world pay for their own foolishness, but the fact remains that once Voldemort has conquered wizarding England, he'll turn his attentions elsewhere…like towards us, and I have been ordered to make sure that doesn't happen.,” Darknight explained tiredly. “Remember that; it'll probably apply when you bitch about the next dark lord that pops out of the woodwork in fifty years or so.” He knelt down and tapped the crystal with his wand, and the stone began to glow a dull red color. He pushed some dirt over it to mask the light and stood up, dusting his hands.

“I still don't understand why you were chosen,” a different vampire said, “you're not exactly the most diplomatic type.”

“I know,” Darknight agreed, shaking his head in confusion. A soft beeping emanating from his watch grabbed the vampire's attention. “Okay, it's time to get this show on the road,” he said, turning the alarm off before lacing his fingers together and popping his knuckles. “I hope you brought your appetites with you, kiddies, because it's going to be an all-you-can-eat buffet tonight.” With a cheer, the squadron of vampires dissolved into a cloud of bats, screeching and flying towards Riddle Manor.

------

Voldemort was currently holding a Cruciatus curse on one of his more incompetent minions when the sound of glass shattering around him caused him to release the curse. Suddenly, the room was filled with the screeching and flapping wings of dozens of bats, quickly joined by the screams of the Death Eater that was being devoured by the creatures. Voldemort fired a curse into the swarm, but the small creatures expertly dodged the attacks.

Voldemort's familiar and Horcrux vessel Nagini was delighted at all the potential food swarming around her, so she snapped greedily at the bats flying around her, but they dodged her strikes, infuriating her. Her hiss of anger turned into one of pain as several bats had buried their fangs into her flesh, draining her of her blood. She thrashed around, trying to shake off the parasites from her body, but they held firm, and her thrashing ceased, the inhuman shriek coming from the disintegrating Horcrux drowned up by the screeching from the bats.

The swarm condensed itself into a pillar of small creatures and rammed into the door as one, breaking it off of its hinges and flew deeper into the manor. Voldemort looked down at the dead Death Eater lying in front of him, hundreds of puncture marks dotting his pale complexion. Sneering, Voldemort turned and saw the large carcass of Nagini. Realizing what this signified, Voldemort let out a scream of rage.

Down in the kitchens, the werewolf Fenrir Greyback was sitting down to enjoy a large, juicy slab of extremely rare steak, when his improved senses picked up the sound of wings flapping in the halls, and the smell of fresh blood. The sensations grew stronger, and soon the door was smashed down, revealing a swarm of bats flying towards him.

Greyback reached for his wand, but the bats reached him first, knocking him down onto the ground and buried their sharp fangs into his flesh, draining him of his blood. Minutes later, the bats unlatched themselves from their prey and took flight again, leaving the drained corpse of Fenrir Greyback lying on the floor, wand in one hand and fork in the other.

------

Harry and Hermione stood up and watched in awe as a cloud of bats smashed itself into the manor, permeating itself throughout its levels. The sounds of the Death Eaters screaming in pain and terror made them sick to their stomachs, but they waited on the hillside. Almost fifteen minutes later, the screams had stopped, and the bats flew out the broken windows and into the night.

“Well, I guess that's our cue to go in,” Harry said awkwardly. Nodding wordlessly, Hermione Apparated back into the storage room, Harry following suit. She opened the door and cautiously walked into the hallway, wand at the ready.

In nearly every room they entered, there was at least one corpse lying inside it, pale as a sheet and covered with small puncture wounds. It also seemed that they were caught completely by surprise. Macnair was leaning against his enormous axe, a stone loosely cradled in his open hand. Harry grinned in sadistic pleasure when he saw Lucius Malfoy leaning over his desk, shock and terror frozen on his mutilated face. Hermione stared in grim satisfaction when she saw Antonin Dolohov sitting in a bathtub, the water colored pink by what little blood the vampires had not drawn from his flesh.

After what seemed like hours of searching, they had finally found Voldemort. Strangely, he seemed to be simply sitting on his throne, despite the fact that the windows and door had been completely destroyed.

“You know, you're making this almost too easy,” Harry snorted at the display. This caused Voldemort to look up and twist his features into a malicious grin.

“Ahh, Potter, we meet again,” Voldemort said smoothly when he saw his nemesis. “I was simply waiting for you to arrive; after all, how can I vanquish you when I am not here?” he continued smugly, ignoring the fact that he could neither Apparate nor use his portkey to escape, and the doorway and windows had some sort of enchantment on them to prevent him from simply walking out of the room, effectively trapping him.

“Well, since we're here, ever consider surrendering?” Harry asked conversationally. “Last chance, you know.” Voldemort snorted derisively.

“Not a chance, Potter,” the sorcerer spat before whipping out his wand, sending a curse flying towards them. The two vampires jumped out of the way and shot their own spells at Voldemort, but he pulled out a second wand and cast two shields simultaneously. Harry seethed with rage when he saw Voldemort holding Dumbledore's wand. Voldemort shot two curses at Harry, and the young vampire barely managed to dodge them while firing a bombardment hex at the dark lord, who deflected it.

“What's the matter, Tommy?” Harry taunted as he rolled away from another curse. “Can't hit little ol' me? Your dear daddy would be so ashamed, Tom.”

“I AM LORD VOLDEMORT!” the enraged dark lord shouted, sending curse after curse in a wild flurry towards Harry, completely forgetting about Hermione's presence. As Voldemort raised his wand to cast another curse, he suddenly found himself unable to speak or even move. Hermione then walked over to him and plucked both wands out of his hands, a smug look on her face.

“That's what you get for forgetting that there's more than one opponent here,” she said triumphantly before stepping out of the way. Harry sheathed his wand and drew Gryffindor's sword before taking hold of Voldemort's shoulder with one hand and pressing the tip of the blade into the dark lord's chest.

“You know, this seems almost too easy,” Harry said to no one in particular. “Almost,” he reiterated, before leaning over and whispering into Voldemort's ear. “Go to hell,” he hissed before shoving the sword through Voldemort's heart, the tip poking out from the man's back. Unable to scream in pain, Voldemort simply gasped and choked quietly before his eyes became blank and lifeless. Harry extracted the sword from his slain foe's chest and Hermione canceled the petrification charm, causing the corpse to collapse on the floor.

Suddenly, the doorway and windows seemed to glow with an aura before it disappeared, and a small swarm of bats flew in, reconstituting themselves into Darknight, clapping his hands slowly.

“Bravo, bravo, well done,” he applauded them. “A bit anticlimactic, but it got the job done.”

“Alright, I kept mine end of the bargain; I killed Voldemort, now I want answers,” Harry said as he cleaned the blood off of Gryffindor's sword and sliding it back into its sheath.

“Okay,” Darknight said, “what do you want to know first?” Before Harry could respond, Hermione spoke up.

“What was that green flash we saw earlier?” she inquired. Darknight chuckled and smiled knowingly at her.

“Let's say that a few hundred years ago, a vampire told the dark lord of the time that there was a crystal guarded by the vampires that, for the low, low price of thirteen human sacrifices, could grant him unimaginable power, a crystal that didn't actually exist. Now let's say that for one reason or another, the rest of vampire society didn't particularly like this dark lord, so they decided to play along. And let's say that after this particular dark lord's defeat, the vampires never got around to setting the record straight, if you know what I mean,” he explained cryptically. Hermione had a look of comprehension on her face, but Harry's was one of confusion.

“What?” he asked dumbly.

“It was a hoax,” Hermione explained to him. “The vampires created a fake dark object, and Voldemort tried to use it, am I right?” she continued, turning to Darknight for her query.

“Right in one,” Darknight said. “Next question.”

“Okay,” Harry said. “Who ordered you to turn me?” Darknight smiled knowingly, but did not answer. Instead, a voice behind them responded.

“I did, Mister Potter.”
----

I bet you all hate me right now, don't you?

Chapter 12: Chapter 12
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Did you all like my little cliffhanger? I know I did.

This fic is almost done; only one more chapter left. It's been fun. There is also a lot of talking in this chapter.

I don't own Harry Potter.
----

Harry and Hermione turned to see who had spoken. Standing behind them was a woman in her thirties, wearing an elegant black dress, like one might have worn to a ball in ages past. Her long ebony hair was tied back in an elegant knot. Her smooth alabaster skin along with her pale blue eyes came together to give her a haunting appearance.

“Who are you?” Harry asked, holding up his wand at her. The woman's gaze briefly shifted to his wand and smiled understandingly.

“I understand your suspicions, Mister Potter, but I assure you, I mean you no harm,” she said, smiling softly. Harry's wand drifted downwards slightly, but was still aimed at her. “Perhaps it would be better if we sat down,” the woman continued before turning to Darknight. “Emmanuel, if you could be so kind as to draw some seats for us?” Darknight visibly cringed at the name she had addressed him with, but drew his wand and waved it, conjuring four comfortable chairs for them to sit in. As they settled into their seats, the woman once again turned her attention to Harry. “As for who I am, Mister Potter, I have been called many things throughout the centuries; but the most enduring title that I possess is that of the vampire Matriarch.” Both Harry and Hermione stared at the Matriarch in shock, while Darknight watched with a vacant, almost bored expression.

“Madam, maybe it would be better if you started from the beginning,” Darknight suggested to the Matriarch.

“Of course, thank you, Emmanuel,” the Matriarch replied, either oblivious or disregarding Darknight's apparent discomfort. “I also request that you do not interrupt me,” she said to Harry and Hermione. When the two young vampires nodded, she began speaking. “We vampires were also involved in the first war against Tom Riddle as well, although very few know it, if any,” she explained, turning to Harry and Hermione. “We cared not for the state of the wizarding world; they had created the monster that was Lord Voldemort, and we felt that it was there responsibility to destroy him.” Hermione opened her mouth to protest, but the Matriarch held up her hand to silence the younger vampire. “Nevertheless, we recognized that if he were to obtain control over the people, it would only be a matter of time before Riddle would turn his gaze towards so-called `sub-humans' such as us, so we spied on his followers, foiling their plans when we could. It was during one of these incidents when one of my spies stumbled across a certain prophecy,” she said, turning her gaze towards Harry, who shifted uncomfortably. “However, unlike the Death Eater scum who attempted to eavesdrop on the telling, my spy was more skilled in stealth, and was able to learn the entire contents of the prophecy.

“I knew the significance of this legitimate prophecy, so I sent two spies to watch over your family, as well as the family of the Longbottom family. Of course, that became impossible once they had fallen under the cloak of the Fidelius charm, so they had to abandon their missions. Later, when I learned that the Potter family had fallen, and Riddle had been vanquished, I investigated the site personally.

“I had arrived before your half-giant friend, so I did not fear being discovered. I saw you lying in the rubble, miraculously unscathed, save for your scar,” she said, her gaze briefly flickering towards Harry's forehead before she continued. “I covered you with a blanket and tried to comfort you as much as I could, but you knew something had happened, something wrong. While there, I also saw something that concerned me. Tell me, do either of you know what an oracle is?” Harry turned to Hermione in confusion, who answered the Matriarch's question.

“An oracle is a kind of seer; they supposedly can see someone's future future just by touching them,” she recited, as if from a textbook, a look of disdain on her face at the idea of divination. “They were supposed to be very rare.”

“Indeed, they were, and once upon a time, I was one such seer,” the Matriarch said. “But unlike most practitioners of divination, who believe that they can see a set order of events through the interpretation of blurry images and incoherent mumbling, I see the future for what it really is: an infinite number of possibilities in a constant state of flux, their very existence hinging on individual choices. When I looked into young Mister Potter's future, I saw many things, most of them boding ill for him. In many of the lifetimes I had witnessed for him, he had fallen to Riddle's wand. In many more, I saw them both fall in a draw. Only in a scant few did I see Mister Potter emerge victorious, but nearly all of them had left deep scars in the hearts of the people, and many people close to him had fallen in the process.”

“It still doesn't explain why you ordered my turning,” Harry interjected, tapping his fingers impatiently.

“I felt that it was the best course of action,” the Matriarch responded calmly. “It would have ended the war the fastest, which was something that we both desired. The sparing of many of your friends from death was simply a consequence of your swift vanquishing of Riddle. Believe me, it was not a decision that I made lightly, but I felt it was for the best.” At this, Harry shot up from his seat, his fists clenched in anger.

“`For the best?'” he repeated incredulously. “How could turning me into this be for the best?!” he demanded, gesturing to himself.

“Perhaps I should amend myself,” the Matriarch said calmly, although the sharpness in her eyes spoke of her own rising impatience. “I meant what was best for my people, which whether you desire it or not includes both you and Miss Granger now. As I have stated before, I had no desire to defend the wizarding world; it was through their fault that Lord Voldemort was born, and it was their responsibility to defeat him, a task that they have failed at. However, I also knew what it meant for my people should Riddle succeed, so I had to plan to intervene. So tell me, Mister Potter, would you have performed any differently were you in my position?” she demanded. Harry opened his mouth to reply, but no sound came out when he realized that he had no response, so he closed his mouth and sat down.

“You could have taken a more active role in the war, helped us fight the Death Eaters,” Hermione suggested. “The war could have been over overnight if you had, and there would have been peace.” Darknight snorted in amusement at that statement.

“If I may take this one, my lady?” Darknight asked politely. The Matriarch bowed her head in affirmation, and Darknight turned to Harry and Hermione. “If we did that, that would have opened a whole new can of worms that we didn't want to open. True, if we had taken a more active role in the war, there would have been peace...for about two minutes. Then the ministry would simply turn around and declare war on us.”

“That's not true!” Hermione shouted indignantly. “We wouldn't betray our allies like that!”

“Is it?” Darknight asked rhetorically, raising an eyebrow at Hermione. “The ministry, and the people in general fear that which they perceive as dangerous. The purebloods would never admit this out loud, but they discriminate against Muggleborns because they realize that the so-called `Mudbloods' will be the future of the wizarding world, an inconceivable concept for them. Werewolves are only dangerous for a few days out of the month, but as your friend Lupin can tell you, they're only a bit above house elves in social status in the wizarding world. Now tell me, how do you think they would react to vampires, so-called `monsters' that are dangerous at any time?” Before either of the younger vampires could respond, Darknight continued. “They would have hunted us and put us down like wild dogs. Kind of like the situation you would find yourself in should you ever show your faces in the wizarding world again, come to think of it,” he continued, scratching his chin in realization.

“But the war is over now; maybe we can make things so that you can have a place in society,” Hermione continued. Darknight turned to the Matriarch and shrugged slightly.

“An admirable offer, Miss Granger,” the Matriarch said. “However, it will be a long and difficult journey before that can be accomplished. If you do manage to bring a more fair age for us to the wizarding world, then I commend you, but it will not matter to me if you cannot. Our society has lived separate from the wizarding world for this long, and I imagine that it will continue to last for many years to come. Are there any more questions you wish to ask me?”

“Yeah, if you can see the future, how come you didn't see yourself becoming a vampire?” Hermione asked curiously. The Matriarch smiled sadly at her.

“Alas, the nature of my gift is that I require contact with a person in order to see their future. Because of that, I am incapable of witnessing my own. If I could, then I would not have made the decision I had made, and I would have joined my lover in time,” the elder vampire said. With a sigh, she stood up from her chair. “If you will excuse me, I believe it is time that I take my leave from here. Have a good night, Mister Potter, Miss Granger,” she continued, bowing her head to Harry and Hermione before dissolving into a cloud of bats and disappearing into the night. With a sigh and a grunt of effort, Darknight pulled himself up out of his own chair.

“Well, I have to wake up early tomorrow, so I'm going to call it a night,” he groaned, stretching his arms out. “But before I leave, I've got to say something: even if you think that because of your immortality you're going to lose everything you've ever loved, allow me to remind you of something: you still have each other. You have a bond that not many people have. Maybe you'll stay friends, maybe you'll be more, I don't know; I can't see the future. But I do know that you have each other, and that's a lot more than most of us can say.” As he twisted himself to begin an Apparation, Hermione cleared her throat.

“If your real name is Emmanuel,” Hermione asked, Darknight's eye twitching in annoyance, “why do you go by `Darknight?'” As Darknight recalled the reason, he chuckled lightly to himself.

“I was a Muggleborn boy born in the 1940's, and my idol was another man who spent a lot of time around bats,” he responded cryptically before Disapparating, leaving Harry and Hermione sitting alone in Riddle Manor. Hermione reached over and placed her hand on Harry's shoulder.

“Are you okay, Harry?” she asked him with concern. Harry nodded numbly.

“Yeah, I'm fine, it's just a lot to take in. I need a couple of days to think,” he muttered softly. Hermione stood up and held out a hand to Harry.

“We should go; Remus and Tonks are probably going spare over us,” she said. Harry took her hand and pulled himself to his feet.

“Probably,” he agreed, and they both Apparated back to 12 Grimmauld Place, where they were assaulted by a werewolf and a pregnant metamorphagus, both exclaiming how worried they were about them.

“Remus, Tonks, we're fine,” Harry grunted in discomfort as Remus continued to crush him. “Voldemort's dead now. We'll tell you all the juicy details...tomorrow,” he said, yawning loudly. “Fighting dark lords really takes it out of you, good day,” he said as the young vampires walked upstairs.

“I'm holding you to that, young man,” Remus shouted up the stairs, although he couldn't help but smile widely. The reign of terror was finally over.

As Harry escorted Hermione to her bedroom, she turned to him, a look of determination on her face.

“Harry, I know that technically we're boyfriend and girlfriend, even though it was during a time of war, so we couldn't really do anything,” Hermione began, biting her lip nervously. “But one day, we're going to talk about whether what we have is actually real, or whether it was just a spur-of-the-moment thing.”

“Yeah,” Harry agreed, before yawning again. “But not tonight, I'm beat.” Smiling briefly, he bent down to kiss her cheek goodnight. Hermione turned her head at the last moment and their lips accidentally brushed together. They lingered together for a moment before they realized their position and broke the kiss, avoiding each other's gaze awkwardly. “Umm...good night,” Harry said quickly.

“`Night,” Hermione mumbled as they went their separate ways. Harry shook his head, wondering what had just happened. He looked down at his watch, which read nearly three in the morning. I'll worry about it tomorrow, he thought to himself; it's to early for thinking.

------

As Dolores Umbridge was preparing to end another day of exerting her superiority over the Mudbloods plaguing the country, her door opened and a pale man dressed in black robes walked in without knocking, parchment in one hand and his other hand behind his back.

“Can I help you?” Umbridge asked with forced calm.

“Yes, actually you can,” Darknight said, discreetly casting a silent locking and silencing charm with the wand hidden behind his back. “You can help by signing these papers for me,” he continued, dropping the parchment on her desk. She looked at them and scoffed.

“A pardon for Potter and Granger? A letter of resignation? Why would I possibly sign these?” she asked incredulously. Darknight smiled mirthlessly and whipped out his wand, disarming Umbridge.

“Because I asked nicely, that's why,” he said casually. “Now the way I see it, you have two options: you can cooperate, sign the papers and leave the country permanently, or I can force you to sign them. You're choice.” Realizing that she was unarmed and in no position to make demands, she slowly sat down and signed the parchment before folding them up and sending them fluttering away. “It's been a pleasure doing business with you, Madam Umbridge,” Darknight said, not lowering his wand, “obliviate.” As the memory-wiping spell sent Umbridge flying and knocked her unconscious with the impact with the wall, Darknight sheathed his wand and dusted off his hands. “I helped level the playing field, Potter,” he muttered to himself. “The next move's yours.”
----

I hope that you enjoyed this chapter, and hope that it answered any questions you might have had.

Don't forget to review!

Chapter 13: Epilogue
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Well, this is it: the final chapter of Memories in my Blood. I hope that you enjoyed reading my little contribution to the woefully low Vampire!H/Hr community (I checked; there are less than 100 between FF.net, Portkey and here).

And please no comments about the scientific inaccuracy of this chapter; I already know.

As usual, I don’t own Harry Potter, just the plot and original characters.

--

Epilogue

Harry looked at the clock glowing dimly on the nightstand by his bed. For several minutes, he had been lying there, unwilling to summon the will to get out of bed. Finally, he slowly slid out, being careful not to awaken the other person in his bed, before donning a robe and walking over to a blank wall. He waved his hand over a panel, and the wall in front of him shimmered and shifted until it became like a giant window, showing an image of a towering metropolis, buildings stretching far as the eye could see.

For obvious reasons, it was not an actual window, but merely a hologram showing a detailed image of the outside world simulating a window. Harry quietly chuckled to himself; the Muggles had made amazing advancements in technology in the past seven hundred years. Harry ran his fingers through his messy black hair as he reminisced about the past several centuries.

--

After the fall of Voldemort, Harry and Hermione tried to figure out how they were going to enter the Ministry of Magic without having every auror in the country bearing down on them. The two vampires were surprised to find out that Umbridge had not only retired from the Ministry, but had rescinded the arrest warrant out for them. With the pathed cleared for them, the two young vampires arrived at the Ministry of Magic and appeared before the Wizengamot. While many of the members were leery about them, they all knew that Harry had saved them from the greatest threat to Wizarding Britain in recent memory, and gave him a chance to speak.

After a long night of discussion and negotiation, where very little was actually accomplished, due to their nature and its associative status, Harry and Hermione returned to 12 Grimmauld Place before dawn arrived. Even though they were both tired, they knew that they had to discuss the position of their relationship soon, so they sat down and talked. They talked to each other about their feelings, and where they went from there. They agreed to take their relationship one step at a time. They were now immortal; they could afford to take their time with things.

Several months later, Tonks had given birth to a healthy baby boy, Theodore Harrison Lupin. Harry and Hermione had agreed to be the godparents of the small infant. Remus and Tonks went on to have two more children in their lives: Alexander James and Breanne Andromeda. Fortunately, none of their children had inherited Remus’ affliction, although they had also not inherited Tonks’ metamorphagus abilities.

Once, Harry and Hermione had used the pendant portkey that Harry had, to see where it would take them. It ended up transporting them to a vampire community somewhere in the English countryside. Their guide was a woman not much older in appearance than themselves, who gave a detailed tour of the community. She explained how the community worked as a self-sustaining entity, approximately half of the members raising livestock for their blood. She also explained how vampire wizards, because of their abilities and their low population compared to vampires that were once Muggles, they are held in higher social standing, even though they are technically equal in rank.

For years, Harry and Hermione had fought through politics and outdated traditions in an effort to gain equality for all sentient beings. It took nearly four years just for them to gain a position where their word would actually carry weight within the happenings of the Ministry. One of the first things that Hermione had done was implement laws concerning house elf treatment and employment, quickly followed by petitioning for equal rights for werewolves.

Though it pained him, Harry had kept his word to Bill, and had avoided contacting the Weasleys, although he observed them from a distance. He watched as Fred and George’s joke business boomed beyond imagination; he watched as Ron became an auror like he had wanted; he had watched while Ginny graduated and become a player for the Holyhead Harpies quidditch team. Harry watched while they – and everyone he had ever known settled down with jobs and families, and eventually died and faded away. Some fell in the line of duty, some died from some unfortunate accident, and many simply fell before time’s unforgiving passage, until Harry and Hermione were all that remained of the time that he had came from.

The peace that had followed Voldemort’s demise was long and good, but neither Harry nor Hermione were delusional enough to think that it would last forever. Several decades after Voldemort’s fall, several pureblood-minded wizards from northern Eurasia had forged an alliance with the Muggle terrorists, and had begun wreaking havoc on England and its allies from both fronts. Unfortunately for the aurors, these new terrorists were smarter than the Death Eaters, disappearing into a crowd quickly, and either obliviating or killing themselves if they were to be caught. With world relations on a razor’s edge, it seemed that another world war was imminent, but a worldwide conflict was abated by an unconquerable force: Nature.

The Muggles had forseen it for years, even though many wizards had dismissed it as fantasy, but the world was changing. The world was getting warmer, and the polar caps were beginning to melt. At first, the effects were minor: slightly higher tides and warmer summers. But as time passed, the effects became more severe. By the year 2075, floods and hurricanes containing winds over 130 miles per hour were a common occurrence, particularly in coastal areas. By 2110, the pendulum began to swing the other way: the winters would become longer, and colder. Massive amounts of snow would fall over Eurasia and North America, covering the continents in a white blanket that would persist throughout the summers, only to be covered by the following winter’s snow. By 2150, much of the northern hemisphere was covered by a thick blanket of snow and ice.

Unforunately, due to their incredibly long lifespans in comparison to Muggles, the prejudices within the Wizarding world were slow to change, so while the Muggles heeded the warnings and fled south before global warming consumed their homes, the magical folk remained, confident that their wards would be powerful enough to weather this storm. However, even the mightiest barrier can buckle underneath a strong enough force, and when the wards finally shattered under the strain of holding up the world, ice and water crashed down on the wizards, thousands dying instantly by their ignorance.

With thoughts of war driven from their minds in the face of their own survival, mankind began to rebuild itself. Construction technology advanced in leaps and bounds in light of the growing population, making buildings that reached higher than any monument before them. Colonies were also built underneath the oceans and beneath the ice.

--

Harry was pulled out of his thoughts by two slender arms wrapping around his waist and soft lips pressing against his shoulder.

“Hey,” she whispered into his ear. Smiling, he turned around to face Hermione, his friend and lover for all these years.

“Hey, yourself,” he replied, bending down to softly kiss her on the lips.

“What’re you doing?” she asked as she laid her head on his chest.

“Just thinking,” Harry said as he ran his fingers through her curls, “about everything that’s happened these past few hundred years.”

“Nothing too depressing, I hope,” Hermione said, amused.

“Nah,” Harry said, shaking his head, “that’s not till tomorrow.” They both laughed at his little joke. “I was thinking we just stay in today, how’s that sound?”

“Mmm, sounds great,” Hermione sighed softly as she released Harry from her hold. “You wait here while I freshen up,” she said, winking at him before she turned around and walked to the bathroom, swaying her hips seductively. Harry chuckled softly at her actions. Even after almost seven hundred years, they still acted like young lovers.

Harry and Hermione had seen many things together, both good and bad. They fought in a war, and nearly entered a second one; they watched as their friends and loved ones died one by one; they watched as the Earth changed itself. But through it all, they still had each other, and their love for one another.

And that made it all worth it.

--

And that’s the end of it. I hope that you enjoyed it.

Now I just got to finish the rest of my fics….

Don’t forget to review!

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